Kean University awarded $10,000 dollars in prizes to innovative student business plans at the fourth annual International Business Plan Competition on Thursday.
Finalists include students from Penn State, Wenzhou Kean University and local high school students competing through NJ DECA. Kean University juniors Bridget Parise and Osama Baig were awarded the $3,000 grand prize for Ez-way, an expedited payment solution for drive-thru restaurants.
“This event attracts brilliant young minds to entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Dr. Kai Wang, Assistant Professor of Management, Kean University. “It encourages students to come up with new products and services designed to generate profit in a sustainable way.”
Entrants were required to submit a creative business idea, an explanation of their product or service, a description of their target market, and a financial forecast. The finalists were chosen from the executive summaries submitted who then worked with faculty mentors to develop their business plans.
The featured business concepts included Blow It Up, Inc., a company designed by a young chemist that allows people to explode a variety of objects for entertainment, and Settle Done, a company that provides relocation services for international students. Grand prize winners Bridget Parise and Osama Baig’s Ez-way concept adapts E-ZPass payment technology to drive through window transactions.
The Kean University International Business Plan Competition provides students with an opportunity to work directly with potential investors and develop valuable skills including product development, marketing, public speaking and networking.
A panel of distinguished judges evaluated the competing business plans and student presentations at the live competition finale. Judges included: Dr. Michael Cooper, dean, Kean University, College of Business and Public Management; Dr. Qian Wang, assistant professor of finance, Kean University; Mark Cheng, associate partner, Linium Consulting; Jian Xie, senior financial reporting specialist, SUMITOMO MITSUI Banking Corporation; and Lonnie Allgood, founder/CEO, Dreams for Kids.
Kean University President Dr. Dawood Farahi had high praise for what Kean students bring to the international marketplace.
"We have I.C.E. - Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship," said Farahi.