Overview

The Mark Ain Business Model Competition, established in 2007, provides aspiring student entrepreneurs at the University of Rochester an opportunity to present their business idea (in any industry) and compete for $13,500 in cash prizes. The competition is preceded by a series of workshops that cover such topics as: articulation of their concept, sizing up market dynamics, development of business and operational models, and exposure to startup implementation issues. The workshops are free and open to the public and are not a prerequisite for the competition.

The competition is open to current University of Rochester students at any level of study, and is made possible by support from Simon alumnus and entrepreneur Mark S. Ain ’67S (MBA), founder of Kronos Incorporated, the Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based market leader in the workforce management industry.

Eligibility

  • Applications must be submitted online. Click the Apply button to the right to access the online application.
  • All competition participants must currently be enrolled at the University of Rochester. Only active UR students in good standing are eligible to present the business model in the semi-final and final rounds and receive prize money. However, companies may include non-UR students on their executive team.
  • Students from both undergraduate and graduate schools are encouraged to participate.
  • Workshop attendance is free and open to all members of the University and general public.
  • Fee for business plan submission is waived for undergraduates and members of the Simon Entrepreneurs Association. There will be a $50 fee per submission for teams comprised of non-undergraduates and/or non-Simon Entrepreneur Association members.

Rules

  • Teams may consist of no more than five individuals and it is recommended to have at least two members on each team.
  • All deadlines for the current academic year are listed to the right:
    • First deadline: submissions for the preliminary written round of judging
    • Second deadline: the ten (10) semi-finalists must submit their complete business plans online
    • Third deadline: the ten (10) semi-finalists must submit their presentations (slide decks) online
  • The business model must be in the idea, development, or start-up stage. Entries for a business that is already earning revenue will not be considered.

Awards

Cash prizes have been made possible by the generous donation of Simon alumnus Mark S. Ain ’67S (MBA), founder of Kronos Incorporated.

  • 1st Place: $10,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place: $1,000

Cash prizes are not tax-exempt. International students may have additional holds; please contact ISO with any questions.

Guidelines for Submissions

  • Entries must be submitted via the online application and should address issues such as a market assessment, technical viability (if applicable), financial projections, management viability and potential for scalability. A business feasibility outline resource guide is available and participants are encouraged to use this resource in writing their business models.
  • Applications must include the following information and are limited to two (2) pages (not including a cover page and appendices; below word counts are only a guideline):
  • Team/Company Name
  • Industry
  • Management Team Members: Include full names, titles, Schools, and class years
  • Management (100 words): Explain what makes your team ideal to build this business
  • One Line Pitch (30 words)
  • Abstract (100 words)
  • Customer Problem (40 words)
  • Your Solution (100 words)
  • Target Market (100 words): Include market size, growth rate, segmentation, and market structure where applicable
  • Marketing & Sales Strategy (100 words)
  • Business Model (40 words)
  • Competition (100 words)
  • Competitive Advantage (100 words): List barriers to entry, any patents, and/or technology
  • Funds Needed
  • Use of Funds
  • Financial Snapshot: Show total revenue, total expenditure and net for each year over a 5-year projection period
  • Exit Strategy
  • Appendices: Include any diagrams that show or demonstrate your product or service
  • Complete business plans must be no longer than 10 pages written, and no more than 20 pages total with supporting graphs, charts, financials, etc.

Judging

  • The first round screening, preliminary judging, will be based on the review of the written application information. Up to ten (10) semi-finalist teams will be selected.
  • The second round screening, semi-finalist judging, will be based on an oral presentation of the business model, including slide decks, and the full, written business plan of the semi-finalist teams.
  • Up to five (5) finalist teams will be notified by May 5, 2017, after the oral presentations in the semi-finalist round. Finalists will have the opportunity to practice their presentations with coaches prior to the final competition round. The five (5) finalist teams will present their business models to a judging panel in mid-May 2017 for prize consideration. Winners will be announced the day of the finalist competition.

Resources

Ain Competitor's Guide - Download Now
Business Feasibility Study Outline - Download Now
Business Model Canvas - Download Now

Schedule of Events

2018 Winners

  • 1st Place:  CompreSure Medical – Alyssa Lopez ’18 (MS, Biomedical Engineering); Gregory Dadourian ’18 (MS, Biomedical Engineering); Meghann Meyer ’18 (MS, Biomedical Engineering); Rachel Zimmer ’18 (MBA, Business Administration)
  • 2nd Place: ADASI – Rebecca Amorese ’18 (MS, Biomedical Engineering); Amanda Smith ’18 (MS, Biomedical Engineering); Evan Sosnow ’18 (MS, Biomedical Engineering)
  • 3rd Place: Prosthesis for a New Syria – Ibrahim Mohammad ’23 (PhD, Mechanical Engineering); Omar Soufan ’18 (MS, Technical Entrepreneurship and Management)
  • Finalist: GOAT Industries – Chibueze Onwunaka ’20 (EdD, K-12 Education Leadership)
  • Finalist: UR Connected – Allen Chen ’19 (BS, Neuroscience); Krista Pipho ’18 (BS, Biochemistry); Brandon Smart ’19 (BS, Computer Science and Finance); Hetince Zhao ’18 (BS, Biomedical Engineering)

2017 Winners

  • 1st Place (TIE): Meliora Homes (Team Meliora) – Edgar Alaniz ’17 (BA in Biology and Clinical Psychology); Carlos “Yuki” Gonzalez ’17 (BA in Financial Economics); Ibrahim Mohammad ’17 (BS in Mechanical Engineering and BA in Mathematics); Omar Soufan ’17 (BS in Biomedical Engineering)
  • 1st Place (TIE): Proteus Medical – Connor J. McBride ’17 (BS in Biomedical Engineering); Edward F. Ruppel ’17 (BS in Biomedical Engineering); Chandler W. Woo ’17 (BS in Biomedical Engineering)
  • 3rd Place: Chalaza Technologies – Sean Humesky ’17 (MS in TEAM); Lei Liao ’17 (MS in TEAM); Kristopher Page ’17 (MS in TEAM); Brianna Rockwell ’17 (MS in TEAM)
  • Finalist: Blush Bokonzi – Mahodo Marthe Avissoudo ’17 (BS in Mechanical Engineering); Gaella Kabeya ’18 (BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences)
  • Finalist: Nutrascientia – Florencia Spinella ’17 (MS in TEAM); Steven Teng ‘17S (MS in Finance); Xiaoyu Xu ‘17S (MS in Finance)

2016 Winners

  • 1st Place: 0Limits – Facundo Ciancio ’16 (MS in TEAM); Ian Lin ’16 (MS in TEAM); Alvise Pallaro ’16 (MS in TEAM); David Thomas ’16 (MS in TEAM)
  • 2nd Place: StimSense – Martin Gitomer ’16 (MS in Biomedical Engineering); Alin Ponici ’14 (BS in Biomedical Engineering), ’16 (MS in TEAM); Shwe Pyie ’16 (MS in Biomedical Engineering); Jia Shi ’16 (MS in TEAM)
  • 3rd Place: Endogenesis – Aaron Allen ’16 (MS in TEAM); Ryan Dawes (PhD Candidate in Neuroscience); Benjamin Feifke ’15 (BS in Optics), ’16 (MS in Data Science); Anchal Sharma ’15 (MS in Optics)
  • Finalist: InstaCharge – Ninoshka Fernandes ’14 (MS in Biomedical Engineering), ’16 (MS in TEAM), (PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering); Qi Tang ’16 (MS in TEAM); Isaac Tung ’16S (MBA); Shujing (Juno) Yu ’16 (MS in TEAM)
  • Finalist: Stoma, LLC – Madhu Ashok ’14 (BS in Optics), ’16 (MS in TEAM); Christi Fox ’17 (MS in TEAM); Shubham Jain ’16 (MS in TEAM); Adalberto Perez ’15 (BS in Mechanical Engineering), ’16 (MS in TEAM)

2015 Winners

  • 1st Place: Motion Correct – Junning Chai ’15 (MS), Sairam Ramasubramaniam ’15S (MBA), Nishant Saboo ’15S (MBA), Wenli Wang ’11 (MS) and PhD Candidate
  • 2nd Place: Null Space – Lucian Copeland ’15, Alexander Matthers ’15
  • 3rd Place: Fuse-UR – Elie Farah ’15S (MBA), Kierstan Ryan ’15 (MS), Brian Shen ’15 (MS) and PhD Candidate, Megan Stockdill ’15 (MS)
  • Finalist: – Seth Reining ’15 (MS), Anthony Yee ’15 (MS) and PhD Candidate, Xiangzhi Yu, PhD Candidate, Yang Zhao, PhD Candidate
  • Finalist: Loopality – Travis Church ’15S (MBA), Helen Wang ’15S (MBA)

2014 Winners

  • 1st Place: SmartDialysis – Li “Adam” Deng ’14 (MS), Steven Gillmer (PhD Candidate), Kenneth Goodfellow ’14 (MS), (PhD Candidate), Aizhong Zhang ’14 ’14 (MS), (PhD Candidate), Bowei Zhang ’14 (MS)
  • 2nd Place: Ovlay – Joungyoon “Felix” Kim ’14
  • 3rd Place: ClarElast – Yonghao “Max” Deng ’14 (MS), Jennifer Fadimba ’14 (MS), Ken Oyeka ’14 (MS), Alexander Partin ’14 (MS), (PhD Candidate)
  • Finalist: MelioraTx – Christopher Henry ’14S (MBA), Laura Jo Marino ’15S (MBA), Audrey McNamara ’14S (MBA), Raul Salinas ’14S (MBA)
  • Finalist: PROTEA Medical – Ryan DeAngelis ’14 (MS), Christine Donivan ’14S (MS), Jess Indyk ’14 (MS), Stephen Zhang ’14 (MS)

2013 Winners

  • 1st Place: Health Care Originals – Sharon Samjitsingh ’13 (MS), Prinson Dsouza ’13 (MS), Ran Gao ’13 (MS), ChenChen Qu ’13 (MS)
  • 2nd Place: SMP MicroStamps – Megan DeWitt ’13 (MS), Andrew Durney ’16 (PhD), William Finnie ’13 (MS), Kwaku Owusu ’14S (MBA)
  • 3rd Place: Ovitz – Joungyoon “Felix” Kim ’14, Gyeonghun Lee ’13S (MS), Hyieop Lim ’13S (MS)
  • Finalist: SixFold Equity – Alicia Henn ’13S (EMBA), Martin Birmingham ’13S (EMBA), Anthony Froix ’13S (EMBA), Nancy Sutton ’13S (EMBA), Michael Van Meter ’13S (EMBA), Marcos Rodriguez ’13S (EMBA)
  • Finalist: Formation 3D – Steven Trambert ’13, Alex Feiszli ’14, Eric Frank ’13

2012 Winners

  •  1st Place: LighTip – Cristina Canavesi (PhD), Nebiat Kidane ’12 (MBA), Cheng Shu ’12 (MS), Luis Soto ’12 (MS)
  • 2nd Place: Mono-Mano – Travis Block ’12 (BS), Sara Hutchinson ’12 (BS), Dominic Marino ’12 (BS), David Narrow ’12 (BS), Martin Szeto ’12 (BS)
  • 3rd Place: TrueSeal – Shaojie Liu ’12 (MS), Rachel Rakvica ’12 (MS), Sijia Sun ’12 (MS), Ethan Williams ’12 (MBA)
  • Finalist: Kukla Tea Company – Clarissa Perkins ’12 (BA)
  • Finalist: Poseidon – Nicole Varble ’12 (MS), Christopher McLane ’12 (MBA), Laurana Ryback ’12 (MS)

2011 Winners

  • 1st Place: Maravilla – Henry Eshenour ’11 (MBA), Tim DeGrave ’11 (MBA), Christopher Larsen ’11 (MBA)
  • 2nd Place: TaaDoo – Kevin Beavers ’11 (EMBA), Chad Carta ’11 (MBA), Brennan Mulcahey ’11 (MBA), David Reiner ’11 (MBA)
  • 3rd Place: OmNeo, LLC – Benjamin Freedman ’11 (BS), Johanna Kelly ’11 (BS)
  • Finalist: MRSA – Boris Alvarez ’11 (MS), Daniela Santibanez ’11 (MS), Sergio Toloza ’11 (MS)
  • Finalist: VendiCab – Seth Hauben ’11 (MBA), Alex Sylvester ’11 (MBA), Maya Boyd ’11 (MBA), Deirdre Corbi ’11 (MBA), Stanley Cheung ’11 (MBA)

2010 Winners

  • 1st Place: MediTel Health Solutions – Benjamin George ’13 (MD) and Jason Reminick ’13 (MD and MBA)
  • 2nd Place: QMD Biosystems – Christophe Dorrer’11 (MBA), Soumya Mitra ’10 (MBA), and Jie Qiao ’11 (MBA)
  • 3rd Place: I-Squared Materials – Sriram Atchutuni ’10 (EMBA), Pankaj Gupta ’13 (PhD), Nitin Tyagi ’11 (MS), and Weston Wicks ’11 (MBA)
  • Finalist: Oregano.com – Byron Barnes ’10 (MBA), James Hart ’10 (MD and PhD), Brian Jenssen ’10 (MD), Jason Morrow ’10 (MBA), and Alexander Pearson ’10 (MD and PhD)
  • Finalist: Arm EmBrace – Sara Ripp ’10 (BS) and Kerry Wang ’10 (BS)

2009 Winners

  • 1st Place: CustomEyes – Melissa Chow, Ying Geng, Rodrigo Mancilla, Abbie Tippie
  • 2nd Place: MCH Management – Christopher Czarnecki, Jeffrey Haniff, Brian Mirochnik
  • 3rd Place: Polynet Technology – Cheryl Blechman, Woojin Han, Alvin Lomibao, Charity Wallace
  • Finalist: Brightwave Solar, Inc. – Eric Christensen, Xinye Lou, Jonathan Sherwood, Raisa Velthuis
  • Finalist: Target Waveform, Inc. – Prashant Baveja, Shih-Shuan (Sean) Hsu, Matt Piede, Christy Sheehy

2008 Winners

  • 1st Place: Thermal Ventures – Carlin Gettliffe, James Cassuto
  • 2nd Place: Handheld Optical Technologies – Nathan Alves, Mitchele Au, Justin Goldstein, Jonathan Weber
  • 3rd Place: TriAD, LLC – Amanda Kingston, Divya Raman, Andrew McGloin

2007 Winners

  • 1st Place: Hope Learning Center – Eric Allen, Howard Reid, Scott Sweeney, Lee Jokl
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