Students won investment competition

This summer ESC and UNYP partnered to offer for the first time an Entrepreneurship class focused on the practical application of the current best practices in starting a start-up. Prof. Jeff Medeiros led the program leveraging Eric Ries' Lean Start-Up strategy and the associated Lean Canvas model, and leveraging his 30 years of experience and contacts as an entrepreneur and leader of multiple businesses, including his current start-up venture Keastone.

The students spent  intensive weeks developing their start-up business, guided by Prof Medeiros and over 12 experts across multiple disciplines; including business model generation, early stage funding, business strategy, financial planning, legal protection of the idea, and digital and off-line marketing, and go-to-market planning. 

The program ended with an intense, nail-biting, modified version of the hit American reality program - "Shark Tank".  The (9) teams presented in front of a panel of 3 Judges/Sharks on Tuesday, June 28th for 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of grilling by the Judges. The panel included Lloyd Waldo, Community Manager - StartupYard, Florian Gliksohn, co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer - JC Parts, and Alex Raiman, UNYP Alumni and COO - Keastone. 

The students competed for prizes, which included paid internships, access to free consulting from subject matter experts and an opportunity to be Fast Tracked into the #1 start-up incubator in Central Europe - StartupYard. 

Team HODI, a crowd-sourced delivery service, led by Yerik Akhmetov, won top honors, and was immediately invited to meet directly with the StartupYard Advisory Board and will be FastTracked into the next StartupYard Cohort of applicants this September. 

There was also a Small-Medium Business winner - Yahoo-lo Cakes - represented by Minh (Joei) Quang Nguyen and Van Tiep Nguyen.  While deciding on the winner, all (3) Judges noted how difficult it was to decide, and were very impressed by the quality and depth of the content in the presentations...especially considering that they were conceived and developed over a 5 week period, a process usually taking between 6-12 months. 

Congratulations to the winners and to all of the participants! 


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