JOOX Music recently won the eMerge Americas Startup Showcase for universities in Miami. UCF students Ketan Rahangdale and Hugo Cardona lead the online music startup. JOOX is the first rewards-based music stock exchange designed to engage fans with their favorite artist and their business. In addition, they are one of the participating student ventures in the #UCFBusiness Upstarts Venture Accelerator program. The win came with $25,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

eMerge Americas attracted over 10,000 attendees and 500 companies from all over the globe. Expert speakers, sponsors, and investors provided professional insight and advice to small business owners. Keynote speakers included musician and business entrepreneur, Armando Christian Peres (Pitbull), and Julian Castro, U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary. Some of the sponsors in attendance were HP, American Airlines, IBM, Microsoft and Facebook.

“eMerge was like TechCrunch Disrupt for the South,” said Ketan Rahangdale, founder and partner with JOOX. “Amazing connections to strategic partners, press and investors. Most importantly, competing was a learning experience I will never forget. This is huge for JOOX.”

“This is the third time in the past year we have sent our students into a startup competition like this and seen them come out as winners,” stated Cameron Ford, Ph.D., director of the UCF Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “UCF programs like our Blackstone LaunchPad and Upstarts Student Venture Accelerator have made a significant impact on startup resources and mentoring opportunities available to our students.”

Beginning in 2013, the College of Business partnered with the Blackstone Foundation, Florida High Tech Corridor and others to open the UCF/Blackstone LaunchPad, #UCFBusiness Starter Lab and Upstarts Student Venture Accelerator. The LaunchPad has engaged more than 8,000 students and 5 student ventures are launching out of the accelerator.

“We continue to set the bar higher for the entrepreneurial ecosystem and are working to create a culture of entrepreneurship university-wide,” said #UCFBusiness Dean Paul Jarley, Ph.D. “Watching our students come home with another first-place award strengthens the argument for additional investments and engagement in the programs that Cameron Ford and his team are leading. In addition, we continue to see more and more students interested in these programs.”