4 Student Businesses to Vie for $75,000 in Joust Finals April 11
UCF, Public Invited to Watch ‘Shark Tank’-Style Showdown
Four student teams will battle for $75,000 in cash and essential business services Wednesday, April 11, in the finals of the Joust New Venture Competition. The 3 p.m. event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Morgridge International Reading Center on the UCF Main Campus.
The four teams remaining from the original 16 semi-finalists are:
Miracle Care Responders, LLC (Jean Saint Jean, Ladeen Taylor): Miracle Care Responders trains people for the Certified Nursing Assistant state exam, helps them get licensed and assists with staffing them where they want to work.
SOAR Aerospace, LLC (Mason Mincey, Derek Saltzman, Gerardo Diaz-Silva, Garrett Hausman, Matthew Jaeger): SOAR Aerospace LLC produces sleek, stylish and quality high-speed drone frames in a variety of colors, enhancing the drone racing experience.
S Star Technologies (Shane Singh, Shi Hao Zhang, Akash Gajjar, Shivkumar Kaushik Murthy): S Star Technologies designed a state-of-the-art respirator to better shield people against airborne pathogens.
Thor ORE (Dylan Weitzman, Glenn Wagner, Brandon Carpenter): Thor ORE has developed a process that allows them to recover and remediate metals from ore bodies and contaminated land. Thor ORE is able to mine several elements and separate them at once.
“This year’s semifinals competitors were some of the best we’ve ever had, primarily because the overall quality of entries was about as good as we’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Cameron Ford, director of the UCF Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “The judges commented on how close the decisions were and the top competitors are going to make our finals one to watch.”
The Joust is UCF’s premier startup showcase event, hosted by the UCF College of Business’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and featuring students of all majors. Competitors present their models for a viable business venture and compete to win money and other vital resources to pursue their venture. The Shark Tank-style event celebrates student entrepreneurs, introduces them to community leaders and provides key resources to help launch their ventures. The Joust is open to all UCF students and all types of venture proposals.
A panel of expert professionals representing corporate partners, area businesses, and alumni assesses the students’ business plans. This year’s platinum sponsors are Steve Felkowitz ’79; Jim Balaschak ’86 ’92 and Debbie Balaschak, ’88. Additional sponsors include Burr+Foreman, DigiThinkIT, Anidea Engineering Inc., BDO, Nperspective LLC and Volo Foundation.