Inaugural Business Plan Competition

Testing our model of charging our best & brightest with innovating the solutions to poverty.

August 13th, 2009 The FC held its first business plan competition at the Mertz Gillmore Foundation.

Judged by a panel of 6 judges, representing The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, CitiGroup and Presbyterian Hospital, among others, FC Corps presented innovations that they researched and designed in just 6 weeks time.

Corps participated in a 60-second pitch contest; then in a 10-minute power-point presentation contest followed by a 5-minute question-and-answer session conducted by our judges.

FIRST PLACE:
SHARPATHLETICS is a non-profit project committed to helping each scholar athlete reach his full potential, as a football player and as a student. We achieve this by providing the highest quality concentration management, from skill-specific performance training to college preparatory tutoring, as well as providing the resources and services necessary to enhance personal growth. Our focus is to selectively recruit and further develop the sharpest students who are also the best athletes from the (Bay Area/New York City) talent pool. Our strategic approach prepares the student athlete for next level competition and academics. Our athletes work harder and work smarter than their competition because we channel their energy towards only the most optimum learning and training techniques. Our motivational speaking services also offer guidance for moral complexities that arise on the field, in the classroom, and in the social world. Ultimately our goal is to mold the student, the player, and the person. Most importantly, being selectively admitted to the Sharp Athletics Project will further increase chances to play college football at a top prestigious university. (PRODUCT OF JOSHUA WILLIAMS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY)

SECOND PLACE:
VASSAR MICROFINANCE ((VMF)) is a nonprofit microcredit lending organization. VMF will provide inception financing and business planning consulting to low-income Poughkeepsie entrepreneurs who may not qualify for commercial loans. VMF entrepreneurs will start businesses that add value to the Poughkeepsie community and create wealth for themselves and others. VMF is different from other financing sources—VMF is a social enterprise seeking to create opportunity for low-income Poughkeepsie residents (PRODUCT OF JOE SCHIAVO, VASSAR COLLEGE).

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PROJECT: Empowering New Yorkers, one loan at a time. The Social Enterprise Project (SEP) is a for-profit microcredit and financial empowerment organization dedicated to promoting the careers for low and moderate income New Yorkers. SEP will serve as a coalition of institutes of higher education and thereby fostering social entrepreneurship among future public service leaders. SEP’s Financial Empowerment coaches will be current college students stationed at their specific institute of higher education in New York City with a set time frame and location. SEP will train the coaches in order to do “light” financial coaching (i.e. reduce outstanding debts, raise credit score, and improve savings). (PRODUCT OF CAMILLE AVENA, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY)

THE FINANCIAL IMPACT EVALUATION SYSTEM: In a client-counselor relationship a lot of information is transferred from the counselor to the client. This information comprises of a wide range of financial decisions ranging from how and when to budget to how to implement a savings plan, and why one is necessary. It is on this transfer of information that we must focus. Is the client actually absorbing this information, or is it simply going in one ear and out the other? What makes the true outcome of counseling unpredictable is the fact that once the client leaves, there is nothing to guarantee that the client will remember what has been taught. And even if the client has learned the necessary information to start practicing wise financial decisions the client may not have the incentive to retain that information. That is why I propose that the Financial Corps should create and proctor an Impact Evaluation Test towards the end of a client-counselor relationship. To make sure that the client makes the effort to remember all that he/she has learned, a reward incentive will be given to those who score higher than an 80% on the test. (PRODUCT OF FORBES HUANG, NYU)

COMMUNITY ADVISORS is a leadership and advising service program for the members of the community. This program not only directly empowers the Community Advisors by providing them with certification, a new skill set and work experience but also helps strengthen the link between different not for profit organizations and the community as a whole. all the while, increase client outreach and client retention. (PRODUCT OF DEEKSHA GULATI, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA)

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