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Idea for Accessible Public Transportation Wins Social Venture Competition

University of Central Florida doctoral student David Thomas Moran and his company, Omnimodal, LLC, which uses real-time data to enhance the quality, efficiency and reliability of public transportation in car-centric metropolitan cities, took home first place and a $2,000 scholarship in the second annual Social Venture Competition presented by the UCF’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

“We believe public transit is key to fostering healthy, accessible and sustainable communities,” said Moran, who is in the Texts & Technology Ph.D. program.

State Farm sponsors the Social Venture Competition, which allows students to pitch their socially conscious business ideas for an opportunity to win thousands of dollars in scholarship rewards. The competition was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 13-19), which featured daily events on campus designed to inspire UCF students to unleash their inner entrepreneur.

Kyle White of Yaupon Growers Association, which aspires to create a new and improved farming system to accommodate Florida’s unique soil needs, earned second place. White and brother and business partner, Bryon, won the 2017 Joust New Venture Competition with their Florida-based tea company.

Third place went to Jacob Hazelbaker, of Zippy Door, with his idea to create a more efficient door-opening device for those with motor disabilities. Milka Derisma and her  company, BYG Shift, took fourth with an app to create a more accessible college environment for first generation students, multicultural students and student veterans.

2017 Joust finalist Tze Fung Wong received Honorable Mention with his company Let’s C Co. Ltd., which aims to make learning English in Asian countries less intimidating through a new one-on-one online language tutoring company.

Judging for the competition was provided by Jim Balaschak, ‘86, ’92, principal of Deanja, LLC, and UCF College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board member; Ben Hoyer, Director, Downtown CREDO; Shawn Seipler, CEO, Clean the World; and Isabel Walker, Director of Impact Partnerships, REBUILD Globally.