Baruch Students Win NYS Business Plan Competition

baruch nys competition winners

David Kurfirst’15 and Chris Zumtobel’15

NEW YORK, NY April 30, 2015- Two Baruch College students from the Zicklin School of Business have been named the winners of the 6th Annual New York Business Plan Competition. Chris Zumtobel’15 and David Kurfirst’15 won first place in the IT/Software Category.

The New York Business Plan Competition is a statewide tournament where the top teams from 10 different regions advanced to the finals in Albany, New York on April 24, 2015. A panel of national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and seasoned entrepreneurs selected the winning teams.

Chris Zumtobel ’15, Entrepreneurial Storytelling Major, and David Kurfirst’15, Entrepreneurship & Religious Ethics Major, presented their business venture, Think Olio– a crowd-learning platform that facilitates in-person education. They use the peer-to-peer platform to create communities that connect teachers, hosts, and students.

The two met last year in their Social Entrepreneurship class at The Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship with Professor Chris Michael.

Our experience in Chris Michael’s class is the reason we won the competition,” says Zumtobel. “His passion was so strong that he had all of us staying 30 minutes after class to continue talking about workers cooperatives. David and I would walk to the train together and talk about how much we were going to miss this sort of learning environment after graduation. We realized this sort of thing is extremely hard to find within the university setting, and nearly impossible to find outside of it. We started to think of ways to create this amazing experience for as many people as possible and worked our way to what it is now Think Olio.”

Zumtobel and Kurfirst won a $10,000 cash prize that will go toward further development of Think Olio.

Teams from the following colleges and universities participated in the final round of the competition: SUNY Polytechnic Institute (including teams from both the Albany and Utica campuses); Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; University at Albany; Skidmore College; CUNY – Queensborough Community College; CUNY – Queens College; CUNY – Baruch College; CUNY – Hunter College; CUNY – Medgar Evers College; Farmingdale State College; Molloy College; Stony Brook University; SUNY G