Two Queensborough students won first and second place awards for their entrepreneurial acumen at the Capital One CUNY-wide Challenge competition finals held on May 7.
A total of five students–two from Queensborough Community College, one from Kingsborough Community College and two from Hostos Community College–pitched their ideas to a panel of judges that included “Shark Tank” winners Jeff and Jennifer Martin, Co-Founders of “Pipcorn, LLC.”; and “NYS 43 North Business Plan Competition” winners Angel Davis and Lauren Washington, Co-founders of “Keep UP”. Also serving as a guest judge was Mr. Sanddy Marchena, Senior Vice President, Capital One Bank.
Queensborough student Luc Vaval won the $5,000 first place prize for his business model of a new internet platform and App that will match aspiring entrepreneurs with accomplished mentors who are willing to offer personalized guidance and enthusiastic feedback in areas such as education, law and finance. In turn, mentors will have opportunities to promote, for example, their new book releases, firms, non-profit organizations or restaurants on the website. Felipe Hoyos won the $3,000 second place prize for his business plan, “Shepherd A!” which is designed to assist New York City based restaurants and food locations improve their restaurant health grades with the New York City Department of Health.
The finalists were asked to demonstrate a viable business idea by including a 30-second video. In addition to prize money, winners benefitted from receiving ongoing one-on-one mentorship and a $500 seed grant.
“All of our finalists have demonstrated the tenacity and skills to succeed just by making it through eight rigorous months of competing with more than 66 students from CUNY’s community colleges. I am extremely proud of each contestant,” said Dr. Christine Mooney, an instructor in the Business department at Queensborough. Dr. Mooney led the program and was the Principal Investigator for the grant which was in partnership with Dr. Stuart Shulman of Baruch College and the CUNY Central Office of Business and Industry Relations led by Dr. John Clark.
“Let’s empower our students to create their own jobs,” said Dr. Clark, whose mother-in-law and sister-in-law are graduates of Queensborough. “Student success is the driving spirit at Queensborough and at all of our colleges within CUNY.”
Special attendees included Dr. Edgar Troudt, Assistant Professor, Researcher and Technology Strategist at Kingsborough Community College; and Hector López, Chairperson, Business and Accounting Unit Coordinator, Chair of the College Senate, Associate Professor, Business & Accounting, Hostos Community College.
Additional finalists who presented their winning ideas were:
Anna Jones, Kingsborough Community College, $2,000
Anthony Gennaro, Hostos Community College, $1,000
Judell Alexander, Kingsborough Community College, $500
Special awards of appreciation were given to all of the outstanding student mentors in the Business Department:
Kathleen Villani, Professor and Chairperson
Shele Bannon, Assistant Professor
James B. Rosa, Professor
Dr. Edward Volchok, Associate Professor
Dr. Ted Rosen, Associate Professor
Dr. Julita Haber, Assistant Professor
Ken Mohan, Senior CLT
John Luby, Chief CLT
Capital One Bank:
Lakia Williams, Community Development Manager
CUNY Center for Student Entrepreneurship
Capital One CUNY-wide Challenge competition brochure:
Phyllis M. Pace, Professor, Business
Business Department Tech Fee students Alex and Ryan
About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $205.9 billion in deposits and $298.3 billion in total assets as of June 30, 2014. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has approximately 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.