In a business proposal showdown for $50,000 in cash, four student teams will deliver their best pitches to a panel of seasoned judges at the finals of the Joust New Venture Competition on Thursday, April 7, at 2 p.m. The event, presented by Echelon Fitness Multimedia, is open to the public and will take place at the Celeste Hotel on UCF Main Campus.

The Joust New Venture Competition is UCF’s premier startup showcase event, hosted by the UCF College of Business’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and featuring students of all majors and all types of venture proposals. Competitors present their models for a viable business and compete to win money and other vital resources to pursue their venture. The Shark Tank-style event celebrates student entrepreneurs, introduces them to community leaders and provides key resources to help launch their ventures.

Advancing beyond a roster of 16 semifinalists, the four teams moving on to the finals are:

  • Curethco (Shelsee Joseph): Curethco supports health and wellness with high-quality detox teas, crafted with intention. Packed with nutrients and healing properties, Curethco aims to reinforce the long-term mental and physical health benefits of holistic care.
  • Trosk (Daniel Trimble, Michael Troisi, Ryan Carnovsky): Trosk is a platform that provides a range of education on cybersecurity and related topics. The platform was created to address the deficit in cybersecurity personnel by democratizing access to adequate education.
  • ToolCharm (Mark Bruckert, Owen Burns): Toolcharm aims to empower support teams to accomplish daily administrative tasks without software development teams. By utilizing Toolcharm, companies will have more time and resources to grow their businesses and shift their focus back to their customers.
  • WriggleBrew (Samuel Baker): Wrigglebrew is a worm tea fertilizer that helps gardeners grow plants sustainably and with ease. The organic, odorless fertilizer doubles as a pesticide, and would eventually help to end fertilizer-induced red tides in Florida.

“It has been a tough 12 months and I have never been as proud of a group of students as I am for this year’s Joust competitors,” says Cameron Ford, director of the UCF Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “I’m pleased that so many students have remained engaged at the Blackstone LaunchPad and in UCF’s entrepreneurship community, particularly during such a trying time in the middle of a pandemic. The high-quality ideas and substance behind these ventures are simply off the charts.”

“We are proud to continue this partnership with UCF and provide students with the opportunity to develop innovative new ventures,” says Lou Lentine ’93, CEO at Echelon Fitness Multimedia and a UCF College of Business graduate. “I’m a believer in the exciting startup community that UCF has built. Naturally, I welcomed the chance to return to my alma mater to support the next generation of student entrepreneurs.”

A panel of expert professionals representing corporate partners, area businesses and alumni will assess the students’ business plans on April 7.

This year’s presenting sponsor is Echelon. Supporting sponsors include 321 The Agency, BDO, Blezoo, Legal Shield, Insurance Office of America (IOA) and Nperspective LLC.