On April 15, Anthony Italiano CSO of EWI Construction was invited to the University of South Florida to participate on the judging panel of the Fintech Business Plan Competition. Fintech is the leader in providing electronic data and payments to the alcohol industry. They process over $23 billion in alcohol invoices with their extensive business network. Since 2009, they have hosted the Business Plan Competition at USF. The competition gives students and new businesses the chance to review strategies and tactics for their new ventures. Judges are business leaders from the community.
The competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students, however, only one person in a group must be a student. Participating teams are required to submit a business plan to the judges and the winners receive $15,000 to turn their plans into an actual business. Winners must register their company as a legal entity in Florida.
The competition challenged competitors and judges to perform in real time. “I enjoyed having to think on my feet, analyze and come up with questions and play devil’s advocate” says Italiano. Three of the competitors stood out to Anthony, Tembo a social innovation project, Hippo a hand armor glove protecting physicians in the medical industry, and LiveArt Labratories a nonprofit organization pursuing excellence in all artistic mediums. The winner of the competition was LiveArt Labratories.
Tampa’s economy is a rapidly growing hub for entrepreneurs with great ideas. The energy and the passion these young entrepreneurs have is inspiring and the Fintech Business Competition is a great opportunity for them to showcase their ideas.
Many young entrepreneurs today are unaware of the obstacles they will face in business. “Being an entrepreneur is about more than taking risks and coming up with ideas, it requires the ability to define risk and liabilities while filling holes in the market place” says Italiano.
Educating and informing the next generation of business leaders is important to Anthony Italiano, to the University of South Florida and to Fintech. Visit the EWI Construction Facebook page for photos from the event.
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