UCF Student Entrepreneurs Win Honors at Harvard Competition

Senior Living Application Among Top Ventures at Business Model Competition

UCF Student Entrepreneurs Win Honors at Harvard Competition

L to R: Cameron Ford, Ph.D., Tyler Salem, James Davis, Malic Dekkar, George Gramatikas, '04.

A UCF student venture earned recognition at the International Business Model Competition (IBMC) held at Harvard University May 3-4. Care Capture, proposed by Mechanical Engineering major Tyler Salem and Computer Science major Juan Roa, took home honorable mention as one of the top eight proposals among the 28 competitors from leading U.S. and international university entrepreneurship programs.

Two other UCF venture proposals qualified for the competition. LightCloud was presented by Ph.D. candidate Malic Dekkar from the Institute for Simulation & Training, and Medical Laboratory Science major James Davis presented Optimed Lab Solutions. Both earned praise from event organizer Nathan Furr, Ph.D., for addressing important problems with innovative technology solutions. Over 1,000 venture proposals competed in regional events, and only 28 qualified for this international competition.

“Our students and their venture proposals were competitive with the top teams from Harvard, MIT, BYU, Wisconsin, and other elite universities. I’m extremely proud of how hard they have worked and how much they have learned,” said Cameron Ford, Ph.D., director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Central Florida College of Business Administration.

Tyler Salem’s company Care Capture offers a HIPAA-compliant software application that senior living communities can use to send wellness updates to family members. Some updates may include texts, videos, pictures and recent activities in which the patient participated. Salem has received numerous accolades for his venture, including a second-place finish in the UCF College of Business Administration/Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Joust Business Plan Competition in April.

George Gramatikas, ’04, UCF College of Business Administration Hall of Fame member and founder of Turbine Technology Services, traveled with the team and served as a coach. “UCF students proved worthy competitors in the ‘World Cup’ of business model competition. We should be very proud of how quickly we have arrived on this scene, and the work of UCF staff to enable this achievement, “ he said.

The competition is based on strategic principles such as Lean Startup and Customer Development. It serves as a basis for helping young entrepreneurs become innovative leaders for their own startup companies. The goal of the IBMC is to promote entrepreneurship education and to reward those who are making a difference in the startup business community.

The first-place winner received $25,000 towards his or her company’s startup plan. Second place received $10,000 and third place received $7,500. The judge’s panel was comprised of several leaders in the industry, including Nathan Furr, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at BYU and founder of the IBMC. Also judging the competition were Alex Osterwalder, creator of the widely used Business Model Canvas; Steven Blank, who co-founded E.piphany and wrote the book Four Steps to the Epiphany; and Thomas Eisenmann, the Howard H. Stevenson Professor Of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School.