The Leatherby Center Hosts the Keith A. Pham Business Model Competition Chapman student and alumni startups get a boost with prize money, real-world experience and the opportunity to pitch to local investor groups
January 6, 2016
The Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics hosted the Keith A. Pham Business Model Competition on December 4, in which teams consisting of Chapman students and alumni competed for prize money and an opportunity to pitch to Angel investor groups.
At the competition, the 10 finalists pitched their business models to a panel of judges that included local business leaders, successful entrepreneurs and Angel investor group representatives. Angel groups are made of private investors who are looking to invest in early-stage startups, and getting a meeting with these groups is highly competitive.
Alumni/Graduate Track Competition
Many teams thoroughly impressed the judges, including “Voter,” as the team hit the timing perfectly with the upcoming presidential election. Voter CEO Hunter Scarborough described his team’s app as “Matchmaking for Politics.” Users sign in, answer a few questions, and then find out which candidates support the same things they do and have a track record to back it up. Voter’s mission is to “[increase] voter turnout by giving people a fast, fun, and easy way to become informed.”
Hunter explained to the judges that marketing has been easy in the current political climate. He said this election is arguably “the most entertaining of all time” and as a result, his app has received dozens of free press features. Voter took first place, and two screening slots at the Business Model Competition.
Take a look at an article mentioning “Voter” on KPCC.
Voter tied for first place, along with Inklocker, a mass customization platform for apparel. Third place was awarded to Kitchen Wizard, a mobile app that allows the user to custom tailor their recipes and ingredient suggestions to the users’ specific lifestyle, engaging the users with ideal meals and brands. It also reduces waste by using up what the user already has, and promises to offer what is best for you. All three teams won cash awards and earned investor-screening slots.
The other two teams that made it to the final round included Quipley and Finance Hollywood Entertainment, both of which were Honorable Mentions. Quipley has a program designed to introduce new customers to merchants by converting fundraising initiatives into shopping incentives. Finance Hollywood Entertainment offers a VIP experience for foreign investors looking to fund U.S. films.
Here is the list of winners and prize money from the Alumni/MBA Competition:
- First Place: Voter and InkLocker (tie) – $1125 prize money
- Third Place: Kitchen Wizard – $500 prize money
- Honorable Mentions: Quipley and Finance Hollywood Entertainment – $250
- OC Tech Coast Angels Screening: Voter, Inklocker, Kitchen Wizard
- ArchAngels Screening: InkLocker
- Private Capital Network Screening: Voter, Kitchen Wizard
In the student track competition, first place was awarded to Ulyngo, a platform for an online social marketplace that allows students at specific universities to buy/sell/promote goods, services and events to a targeted market of their peers.
Second place was awarded to MySlate, the student job matcher. The website matches student career profiles with criteria set by employers. Third place was awarded to Vyrl, a platform that allows Instagram influencers to connect and collaborate while discovering opportunities to promote brands and companies.
Here is the list of winners from the Student Competition:
- First Place: Ulyngo – $1,500
- Second Place: MySlate – $750
- Third Place: Vyrl – $500
- Honorable Mention: FlyTime, UnyFeed – $250
- OC Tech Coast Angels Screening: Ulyngo
- Private Capital Network Screening: Ulyngo, MySlate
About the Keith A. Pham Business Model Competition
The Keith A. Pham Business Model competition is an event that leads up to the annual intercollegiate California Dreamin’ Business Plan competition in April. Often, the winner of the Keith A. Pham Business Model Competition represents Chapman University at California Dreamin’. California Dream’ is also hosted by the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship, and is attended by about 30 universities around the country.
About California Dreamin’
The California Dreamin’ Competition strives to simulate the real-world process of starting a business and seeking start-up funding, while also providing constructive feedback to all competing teams to better help them achieve their goals.
The contest is by invitation only. A total value of $300,000 (in cash and potential equity investment) may be distributed among participants with three chances to win: “Investor Presentation”, 90-Second “Fast Pitch”, and “Business Narrative Competition.” Schools that make it to the 2nd round of the Investor Presentation are excluded from the Business Narrative Competition. The five finalists of the Investor Presentation are excluded from participating in the Fast Pitch. This means 15 schools can walk away with cash.
Find more information on the Leatherby Center’s business plan competitions.