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Fintech Business Plan Competition makes USF students' business dreams into reality

TAMPA, FL. (April 14, 2015) – USF students with great business ideas don't have to wait for their big break on "Shark Tank."

Instead, they have a chance at $15,000 with the Fintech Business Plan Competition. The seventh annual competition, hosted by the nationally ranked USF Center for Entrepreneurship in the Muma College of Business, will take place Friday, April 17, from 1-5 p.m. in room BSN 115.

Out of 50 initial applicants, six finalist companies will present their business plans to the judges, with students at both graduate and undergraduate levels from disciplines including College of Engineering (Mechanical, Industrial, and Electrical), Business (Entrepreneurship, MBA, MIS), Global Sustainability, Education (School of Adult Career & Higher Education).

The finalist companies are:

Made possible by a donation from Fintech, the leading automatic electronic system that alcohol vendors and retailers use to pay bills, the competition allows students to hone their business plans as well as have a chance to finance their ventures. Competing companies must be organized as a legal entity in the State of Florida, and at least one member of the ownership group must be a current USF student.

"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."
Initial screening of entries was conducted by Center for Entrepreneurship faculty. Finalists will be judged by a panel of professionals including Scott Riley, Fintech CEO; Ron Floto, Fintech director of strategic development; Chris Pizzo, Pizzo Solutions founder and president; Fred Steube, senior director of emerging technology at Cox Target Media; Kenneth Hamner, managing member of The Entrepreneurship Law Center; and Manuel Aguilar, a business banking executive at Regions Financial Corporation.

The Center for Entrepreneurship is a nationally ranked, interdisciplinary center, and is part of the USF Muma College of Business, in collaboration with the USF College of Engineering, the Morsani College of Medicine, and the Patel College of Global Sustainability.