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GW Team Wins $20,000 First-Place Prize in GW Business Plan Competition

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19th Apr 2010
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HealthEWorks, a service that customizes and improves health education for patients who are in urgent-care situations, won the $20,000 first-place prize at the GW Business Plan Competition held April 15-16. The money, along with a total of $10,000 awarded and split among three teams of runners-up, will help launch their start-up businesses.

The competition is part of the GW Summit on Entrepreneurship and is sponsored by The George Washington University School of Business and its Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

Winning team members Christina Johns, David Mathison and Moh Saidinejad are all pediatric emergency room doctors. As health care providers, the gap in health education provided for patients became very apparent to them. This spurred the idea for HealthEWorks, which will help patients better understand their illnesses.

“We’re incredibly appreciative of the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful process,” said David Mathison, who is pursuing an MBA at the GW School of Business. “It’s exciting to make a product that’s good for both patients and hospitals.”

The Business Plan Competition finalists survived three rounds of competition over a two-month period, and were selected from an original pool of more than 100 entries. During the final round held on April 16, each team presented creative and innovate business plans to a distinguished panel of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in a real-world presentation format modeled after venture capital presentations.

First runners-up were James Albis and Raymond Marcovici, who presented two aromatherapy products to help reduce hunger and increase energy. Second runner-up was Ari Menase, who presented a plan to import Angus cattle to Turkey for breeding and local sale. Third runners-up were Richard N. Bradford and Kate Comiskey, who presented a plan for a personal security training service for Federal employees.

“The GW Business Plan Competition is an amazing opportunity for GW students across campus to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into a reality,” said local entrepreneur John Rollins, who founded AZTECH Software Corporation and served for 30 years as its CEO and chairman and subsequently founded StreamCenter. “The quality of products and services presented by this year’s contestants was outstanding,” said Rollins, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the GW School of Business.

The GW Business Plan Competition, funded by donors Richard and Annette Scott, awards $30,000 in cash prizes to GW teams presenting great ideas for a new product or service to a panel of distinguished entrepreneurs affiliated with the University. The Scotts' daughter, Allison Scott Guimard, graduated from GW's Business School in 2005.

The George Washington University Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence plays a central role in promoting entrepreneurship education to both undergraduate and graduate students. Through its faculty, graduate teaching fellows and partners, the center provides a knowledge sharing platform for many, both inside and outside the University, to study entrepreneurship from a local to a global perspective.

The center offers excellent opportunities for research, in which knowledge and methods of different fields can be merged, where due diligence coupled with creativity and innovation scholarship may reach fruition.

GW's School of Business prepares students for professional management careers. The depth and variety of its academic and professional programs, including five specialized master's programs, provide rich opportunities for students in the school's core bachelor of business administration, master of business administration and doctoral programs. GW's undergraduate and graduate-level international business programs rank among the world's best.

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