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Fintech Business Plan Competition Seeks Student Entrepreneurs

The first-place prize of $15,000 gives USF students chance to make business plans reality

Tampa, FL (February 11, 2013) — USF student-entrepreneurs looking for cashflow to get their startup companies off the ground don't have to look far.

The fifth annual Fintech Business Plan Competition offers all currently enrolled USF graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to compete for a first-place prize of $15,000. Second and third place winners may receive prizes of in-kind services. Submissions are due March 28 by 5 p.m., and the competition will take place April 5 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Muma College of Business.

The contest, sponsored by local company Fintech and hosted by the nationally ranked USF Center for Entrepreneurship, not only allows students to compete for prize money but also gives them an opportunity to present their business vision in front of a panel of professionals and experienced entrepreneurs. Prior finalists in the competition have ranged from engineers creating a biohazard chip to business students creating products that enhance existing businesses.

"This competition shows the true ingenuity of our students here at USF," said Michael Fountain, director of the USF Center for Entrepreneurship. "We should be proud to know we're producing quality entrepreneurs here at the university."

To receive the cash prize money, the winning entry must be organized as a legal entity in the State of Florida (e.g. C Corp, S Corp, LLC, LLP). To compete, at least one member of the ownership group must be a current USF student. Business concepts from all academic disciplines are welcome, and early-stage companies are encouraged to apply.

Initial screening of entries will be conducted by center faculty. Finalists will be judged by a panel of professionals with representatives from the sponsor companies, business owners, business financers, and serial entrepreneurs.

The competition will include a presentation (15 minutes) followed by questions and answers. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the presentations.

"The business plan competition gave me a chance to practice real-world presentation skills," said Tyler Freriks, a recent MBA graduate who placed second in last year's competition. "It was probably one of the best things that I've done for myself and my career."

The Fintech Business Plan Competition is hosted by the USF Center for Entrepreneurship, part of the USF Muma College of Business, in collaboration with the USF College of Engineering, USF Health, and the Patel School of Global Sustainability. Competitors should submit one bound copy of their business plan to the Center for Entrepreneurship, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. BSN 3334, Tampa, Fl, 33620-5500, and email one PDF copy to lthompso@usf.edu.

For more detailed information, please go to the flyer posted on the Center for Entrepreneurship website: entrepreneurship.usf.edu.