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USF hosts business plan battle with $15,000 top prize

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

 The University of South Florida Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Business hosted a unique business plan competition among students Friday.

The winner walked away with a $15,000 cash prize as well as donated services from lawyers, accountants and marketing executives.

Seven teams went head to head presenting their best business plans to a panel of judges. Among the competitors a paintball company, a medical waste disposal business and a local grocery store. 

Medical student Andrea Little and her business school partner Hector Angus created One Apple Grocery in Tampa.  The store caters to low income families who wouldn't have access to healthy food otherwise.

"It was created about a year ago. It's been in business. We've been profitable, and we saw the potential so we thought why not share it with everybody else," Little said.

Dr. Bill Marshall is Associate Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at the U.S.F. College of Business.  He says this is the fifth year for the competition, and judges set the bar pretty high.

"Is this concept really going to work? Is there a market? If there is a market, can they sell? Is the team that's doing this capable of executing their plan and turning this into a real, viable business? Can it be launched and be successful," Marshall said.

After each team made a 15 minute presentation to a panel of judge made up of local business professionals, those judge made a final decision.

This year's  $15,000 prize goes to South Tampa Paintball a budding business pitched by a U.S.F. undergraduate student. The second place team was the grocery store project presented by Little and Angus.

 

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