'Canes Challenge



First place, $2,500: One Topic - Mark I. Akhimien and Kevin Gutierrez

Second place, $1,500: Study Smart Supplements - Alexander Dolan

Third place, $1,000: Mimir - Daniel A. Shorten and Alexa DeBartolo



First place, $2,500: Influur - Valeria Angelini and Alessandra Angelini

Second place, $1,500: AutoAd Advertising - Kyle D. Miner

Third place, $1,000: Clubin - Nicholas J. Rose and Ian Hartsough


Congratulations to all! They also receive guidance/counseling by the Miami Law Startup Practicum. 






  • Alexander Dolan
  • Stephan Fisher
  • Shravya Jasti
  • Daniel A. Shorten and Alexa deBartolo
  • Isaac Chocron Levy and Michele Di Carlo
  • Gabrielle R. Shapiro
  • Mark I. Akhimien and Kevin Gutierrez
  • William M. Britt
  • Timothy J. Scafaria
  • Luke D. Boland and Chris Clinton


  • Valeria Angelini and Alessandra Angelini
  • Shenan Toote
  • Nicolas Viñales
  • Ryan Nolan
  • Nicholas J. Rose and Ian Hartsough
  • Arturo Vidal
  • Dominic Natalizio
  • Philippe M. Garoflid-Oprescu
  • Anthony Miclet and Maximilian Folonari
  • Kyle D. Miner


*An email has been sent to all who have moved on to the 'Canes Challenge with more details. Please check your emails as well as register each team member in our events page: 


CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN and start working on your pitches!



Flyer for the Canes Challenge 2018


1. There are 2 tracks in the 'Canes Challenge: Undergraduate and Graduate/Alumni. 

2. Students and alumni who would like to participate in the Business Plan competition and the 'Canes Challenge must submit a concept paper by October 29, 2018 (EXTENDED date). 

All concept papers will be screened and judged.  The selected concept papers will be invited to participate in the Canes Challenge - Ptich Competition as well as submit a business plan in March 2019 and to pitch in the Semifinals on April 9, 2019 (closed to the public).  Consequently, the top teams in each track (undergraduate and graduate/alumni) will compete in the Finals' Live competition on April 11, 2019.  The teams who did not pass to the Canes Challenge can still submit a business plan in the Spring 2019. 

3. 'Canes Challenge: From all the concept papers received, the top 10 teams from each track will be invited to participate in the 'Canes Challenge, where the student/team will present a 3-minute live pitch (maximum of 5 Power Point slides) to an audience of judges on November 14, 2018.  The student/team in the top 10 of each track does not have to participate in the 'Canes Challenge in order to submit a business plan.  

Students who are selected from their concept papers to pitch in the 'Canes Challenge on Nov. 14, 2018 are eligible to win prizes up to $10,000 (divided among 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each track) and services from the Miami Law Startup Practicum as an in-kind prize.  

The Miami Law Startup Practicum at the University of Miami- School of Law connects law students with new ventures in need of legal assistance. Clients of the Startup Practicum get help with organizing, financing, talent, intellectual property, risk, regulation and other legal issues that arise for entrepreneurs as they launch their new businesses and organizations. Specific legal matters include selecting and forming a business entity, such as LLC or C-corp, evaluating, negotiating and documenting financing transactions, equity and debt, drafting independent contractor, employee, joint venture and other agreements, protecting intellectual property, including applying for patents and trademarks, and drafting Terms of Service and Privacy Policies for websites and apps. For more information, and to apply for services, visit www.law.miami.edu/startup. Winners of the 'Canes Challenge will be given priority status by the Startup Practicum and offered both initial legal consultation and specific legal assistance.



Each individual or team is required to submit a one to three-page initial concept paper for the first stage of the Business Plan Competition.  The concept paper is the document used to determine which applicants will be invited to submit a full, detailed business plan for the competition. Therefore, it is important that the concept synopsis contain as much helpful and relevant information as possible, within the three page limit, to allow for a thorough evaluation of the concept. 

All participants must create an account, enter their personal information in order to submit the concept paper (see below).

Concept papers will be evaluated based on the degree to which the following are thoroughly and clearly addressed:

 Multiple concept paper submissions are NOT accepted. Each individual should only appear on ONE submission.

If the concept paper submitted is based on a class project, either all members must be part of the team or those not entering/participating must approve the submission by the other team members in writing prior to the submission.



  1. Please use the following link to submit your concept paper: https://cmt3.research.microsoft.com.
  2. Click on "Registration" and create a new account with your personal information, then click "Register". 
  3. If you  already submitted a concept paper last year and remember your email address and password, please log in. Choose from "All Conferences"- Canes Challenge 2018.  You may also create a new account, if you do not remember the password or which email address you used.
  4. Once you are logged in, please click on "create a new submission" by selecting your track: Undergraduate or Graduate/Alumni. 
  5. Fill out the title of your business idea/project and an abstract/description (brief).
  6. Add any other members to your team (name, last name, phone, organization or school you/student is attending, if a current student). 
  7. Attach your Word/pdf document in "Upload from computer" link.
  8. Click "Submit"
  9. If you encounter any problems or have any questions, please email us at mbsentrepreneurship@miami.edu. 

'Canes Challenge Judging Criteria

Who is Eligible?

The University of Miami Business Plan Competition and the 'Canes 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 2008.

For enrolled students, receiving an award may have an impact on your financial aid eligibility/package. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance Services for more detailed information.

Link to the Undergraduate Office of Financial Assistance Services:


Link to the Graduate Office of Financial Assistance Services:



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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