The Blackstone LaunchPad, an initiative of the UCF College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), recently hosted the annual Business Model Competition (BMC). Students were asked to create a business model in which they present their journey in creating and pursuing a viable business venture. This event was sponsored by Nperspective CFO Services and Digithinkit.

Oluwafunlola Falade was named the 2014 winner, taking home a cash prize of $3,000 and achieving automatic entry into the International Business Model Competition (IBMC) hosted by Brigham Young University.  Falade’s idea is Quarterwear, a nonprofit, crowd-funded platform that sells limited-edition clothing and gives a portion of proceeds to charity.

The International Business Model Competition’s purpose is to instill a new way of thinking about entrepreneurship in the thousands of international student teams that compete each year. Instead of planning one’s way to success, IBMC challenges students to create or abide by a testing and assumption-based, customer-validated, business model. IBMC teams could win up to $25,000 to develop and pursue their business ventures.

“I thought that Falade’s presentation was great,” stated CEL Director and BMC sponsor, Cameron Ford. “It exemplified the benefits of exploring one’s business ideas by speaking with potential users.  He was able to fail his way toward success quickly, inexpensively, and with little risk other than a few bruises to his ego.  He now seems positioned to explore his proposal in greater depth with a few lead users, and we hope his efforts lead to a successful new venture.”

Edward Rippen and Terry Warren (LegallyLink) received $1,000 for second place. Third place winners, Ketan Rahangdale and Richard Grant (JOOX), received $750.  Mohammed Alomairy (Ezar) received $250 for fourth place. Other participants included Caroline Castille and Odaimys Calderin (Bsteps), Malic Dekkar (Chronos Computing), Victoria Cerrone (Ports of Cause), Michelle Elsaid and Jasmine Yamini (Preserve the Harvest), and Kathryn Bateman (Transform). Judges for the semifinals were Robin Phelps, Christine Ortiz, Doug White and David Brim. Finalist judges included Kyle Steele, Carol Ann Dykes, George Gramatikas and Ron Ben-Zeev.

Powered by the UCF College of Business Administration, The UCF / Blackstone LaunchPad is an innovative program that treats entrepreneurship as a viable career path. The program teaches students how to transform their ideas into thriving businesses. By connecting entrepreneurs with mentors, experts and resources, the program provides the advice, counsel and network necessary to get their ideas off the ground.