Medical modeling company wins 7th Fintech Business Plan Competition
A medical 3D printing company came out on top in a "Shark Tank" style competition at the Muma College of Business, taking home $15,000 for the company.
Visualflo, which has USF engineering graduate students in its ownership group, won the Seventh Annual Fintech Business Plan Competition, hosted by the nationally ranked USF Center for Entrepreneurship in the Muma College of Business. Visualflo produces models from diagnostic scans that can help physicians diagnose problems and enable patients to visualize the scans better. The presenters passed the plastic models out to judges to help them visualize what their company's work looks liked – of bones, or organs, or tumors.
The company includes USF engineering master's student Andres Cabezas, USF engineering PhD candidate Derek Redmon, and USF MBA alumnus Byron Covarrubias, as well as Lorena Cabezas, Paul Benford, and Joseph Davidson.
Michael Fountain, director of the USF Center for Entrepreneurship, said at the beginning of the competition that it gives him joy to see students from previous Fintech competitions out in the community building their businesses.
"This is what gets me out of bed in the morning is being able to work with quality students," Fountain said.
Out of 50 initial applicants, seven finalist companies presented their business plans to the judges, with students at both graduate and undergraduate levels from disciplines including engineering, business, global sustainability, and education.
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.
Scott Riley, Fintech CEO, said he leaves each competition more impressed with the quality of competitors.
"Each year, the companies keep getting better, Riley said.
Besides Visualflo, finalist companies were:
- Ceviche To Go, which would make ceviche a fast and convenient health option for consumers on the go.
- Floridian Marine, which would produce 3D printed life-support systems for hostile environments.
- Moxie Apps, which created Eazy Menu, a mobile application that allows any user to browse dining menus according to their dietary and dining preferences.
- New Deal Source, which would use analytics to help real estate fund managers and investors find the best sourced deals for their market.
- Our Faith, which would provide an online platform for social networking among all religious faiths worldwide
- Prayzo, which would provide commercial farmers with hardware that can be attached to fertilization systems and provide analytics to a more efficiently manage and expand their farms.
New Deal Source was awarded second place, and Moxie Apps was awarded third.
Initial screening of entries was conducted by Center for Entrepreneurship faculty. Finalists were judged by a panel of professionals including Riley, the 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.