2017 ‘Canes Idea Challenge Winners


1st place ($1500)- Cody Sklar
2nd place ($1000)- Jillian Scott & Myra Singh
3rd place ($500)- Brian Shirzad


1st place ($1500)- Nikhil DeLaHaye
2nd place ($1000)- Joseph Keilman
3rd place ($500)- Andre Cunha and Joselyn Ojeda

ALL the teams/students who qualified for the 'Canes Idea Challenge on Nov. 15, 2017 are eligible to submit a business plan and continue in the 2018 Business Plan Competition.

  • Please refer to "Step 3" below for more information on deadlines and guidelines. The business plan must be submitted by March 13, 2018.
  • Each team will be assigned a mentor (an Entrepreneur from the community) by December 18, 2017 to work with during the business plan write-up stage.
  • The team/student MUST use our templates (below) when submitting the business plan, including Financials.
  • There will be 2 workshops (for Business Plan Essentials and Financials) in the 2018 Spring offered by the Launchpad for the teams/students who are continuing to the Business Plan stage. Students/teams must RSVP to the workshops via email (please see below for more information).
  • Please refer to the Calendar link on our website for all deadlines.

If you have any questions, please email us at sbaentrepreneurship@miami.edu.


2017 ‘Canes Idea Challenge Participants

The following students and alumni have qualified to the ‘Canes Idea Challenge phase. The students/teams below are listed in random order.


Christopher Daniels & Steven Buibish
Rosario Chinchilla
Jenna Ferreira & Nicholas Ferreira
Marissa Gudiel
Christian DiClemente & Zach Smith
Jordan Walker, Nick Urban, Luke Dirdrisken, Ryan Machuga, Noah Macdonald & Raj Singh
Jacob Segal, Ethan Guller & James Lai
Brian Shirzad
Nathaniel Burn & Timothy Riley
Emily Berkowitz
Jonathan Raskauskas & Alex Moreno
Cody Sklar
Jillian Scott & Myra Singh
Emma Purcell


Dahlia Attia-King
Luca G. Cubisino & Lorella Di Gregorio
Veda Lejardi Cruz
Marcella McCarthy
Andre Cunha & Joselyn Ojeda
Mercy Nzeakor
Zain Ashraf
Paula Andrea Villareal & Alberto Mazatan
Wesley Francis
Nikhil DeLahaye
Craig Dermody, Anthony Miclet & Benjamin Smith
Rhoda Moise & Delisa Roman
Yingxian He, Jialun Wang & Wen Yin
Cordaro Davis
Joe Cioffi & Drew Richardson
Joseph Keilman
Adam Jaffe & Michael Ibrahim


An email was sent to all participants (to the email addresses provided in your concept paper) last Friday, November 10, 2017.

The students/team above will have 2 minutes to pitch their business idea in front of a live audience and judges on Nov. 15th, 2017. Please keep your presentation to a maximum of 3 slides with the first slide being the name of your team/concept. You must send your slides by Monday, Nov. 13th at 2pm (EST) to sbaentrepreneurship@miami.edu.
Please make sure to specify the title of the business idea/project in the “Subject” line and include all the names of the participants in the body of the email. The students will be judged on their concept paper as well as their presentation. After the 2 minute pitch, there will be a brief Q&A from the judges. The student/team must arrive no later than 3:30pm at the Storer auditorium (ground floor), Miami Business School. The event starts at 4pm with our keynote speaker, Mr. Eduardo Henrique, Co-founder of Movile, followed by the live pitches, prizes and a reception.

If a student/team is selected but cannot present at the live pitch competition on Nov. 15th, then it will be eliminated from the competition and will not participate in the Business Plan Competition in April.

If your concept paper was not selected to participate in the 'Canes Idea Challenge, you may still attend the event to support your fellow students.

For any questions, please email sbaentrepreneurship@miami.edu.




The University of Miami Business Plan Competition and the 'Canes Idea Challenge are open to all University of Miami students in good academic and financial standing during the current academic year. The competitions are also open to all UM Alumni who are non-UM employees, graduation date must not be older than 2006.



Each year, as oral presentations approach, some students become concerned about potential issues of confidentiality. Remember that the judges are largely entrepreneurs, investors, and financial professionals who deal with confidential information in the normal course of their work, and as such, you can expect them to behave professionally. You should feel free to exclude any information you regard as truly proprietary, but keep in mind that this may have a negative impact on your performance in the competition. Also keep in mind that your general venture idea is NOT proprietary, and in the vast majority of cases revealing it will have no impact on your competitive position. No judge, mentor, or UM faculty/staff should ever be asked to sign any sort of nondisclosure agreement, and your presentations may be open to the public.
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