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Eighth annual Fintech Business Plan Competition opens for applications

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TAMPA, FL. (Feb. 10, 2016) -- Applications are open for the 2016 Fintech Business Plan Competition, whose winners have gone on to launch a watermelon water manufacturer, a competitive paintball field, and a medical modeling company, among other businesses.

Competitors will have a chance at the $15,000 by submitting their business plans and presenting them before a panel of judges in a "Shark Tank"-style event. The eighth annual competition, hosted by the nationally ranked USF Center for Entrepreneurship in the Muma College of Business, will take place Friday, April 15, from 1-5 p.m. in BSN 115. Out of dozens of initial applicants from across the university, six finalist companies will present their business plans to the judges. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will receive space in the USF Student Innovation Incubator and will represent USF at the Florida Venture Forum. Initial screening of entries will be conducted by Center for Entrepreneurship faculty.

Important dates are below, and are also available on the competition page:

  • Info Session: Feb 24, 2016 - 5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., BSN118. RSVP to or 813-974-1550
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2016 - 5:00 p.m. Submit one bound copy of the full business plan to the Center for Entrepreneurship BSN3331 & email a PDF version to
  • Finalist Notified: April 5, 2016. Finalist will be notified via email
  • Finalist Workshop: April 12, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., BSN112
  • Day of Competition: April 15, 2016 - 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., BSN115

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 from any major or level.

Previous winners of the Fintech Business Plan competition include AquaMelon, a company that produced watermelon water for sale in grocery and specialty stores; South Tampa Paintball, a field for competitive paintball teams; and Visualflo, a company that manufactures 3D models from medical scans to help physicians and patients in the diagnostic process.

"In the eighth year of this competition, we hope to continue to see exciting new ideas that surprise and inspire us," said Michael Fountain, director of the USF Center for Entrepreneurship. "The competitors in the Fintech Business Plan competition are a testament to the quality of entrepreneurship education and support here at USF."

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.