Contestants

Contestants and Entries
ANNOUNCING THE WINNER OF THE 2007 PACE BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION
Sheri Muth - Independence Painting
>> Click to read Sheri Muth's biography and Executive Summary.


Adele Arkin - The ScholarHouse Foundation
Gabriel Aucar - YoungFortunes
Minas Barbarakis - Gemini Biotech
Harry Brodsky, Ricky Huy La, Yury Shteyman, and Dmitry Voller - TrackPay
Tarun Chopra - vINFO
Julie Kawejsza - Swirl
Sheri Muth - Independence Painting
Stephen O'Sullivan - Team Blue Chip
William Phelps - Idea Storm Products, LLC and Yamodo
Yosuke Shiratori - Tokyo-Bay Business Helpers
Dina Tate - BlackBridalGuide.com


Adele Arkin - The ScholarHouse Foundation
  [Adele Arkin]
The ScholarHouse Foundation will enable gifted students throughout New York to attend college while residing in rent-free housing facilities and benefit from cost savings. Students will be able to pool their money to pay for food and utility expenses. Graduating with less debt burden will allow students to enhance their future goals and participate in community development missions thereafter.

In addition to providing rent-free housing, the ScholarHouse Foundation will provide educational and developmental opportunities. Students will learn and live together in a culturally diverse environment where they will build interpersonal and leadership skills, a support network, and respect for those with different backgrounds preparing them for the interdependent world.

This not-for-profit mission will be accomplished by securing private, public, and corporate donations as well as services and product support available throughout the state of New York. To date we have secured pro-bono legal and accounting support from Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

Biography
Adele is a first generation American and is the first in her family to earn a college degree. She grew up in Brooklyn and went to high school and college in Florida. Adele graduated with her BS in Psychology, with minors in Statistics and Education from the University of Florida in 1997. She spent most of her undergraduate career researching epilepsy and residing in one of the Southern Scholarship Foundation houses in order to pay for college.

After graduating with her BS, she attended NYU and received her MA in Community Counseling in 1999. While going to graduate school full time, she also provided Human Resources support to Student Advantage and Financial Relations Board. Upon graduation, she joined Solomon Smith Barney's HR rotational program. She later joined Lehman Brothers HR supporting the global finance department. While at Lehman Brothers she was promoted to Assistant Vice President, had the opportunity to work in London on assignment, served as a leader of diversity initiatives, and was sponsored to join Pace University's executive MBA program. Upon graduating in December 2005 with her thesis project, "The ScholarHouse Foundation," Adele took her life in another direction. After working in HR for 8 years, Adele decided to start a family, pursue her passion for real estate and focus on creating the ScholarHouse Foundation. She currently lives with her husband and 6-month-old daughter and is a licensed Realtor for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Adele dedicates her free time to develop the ScholarHouse Foundation.

Gabriel Aucar - YoungFortunes
  [Gabriel Aucar]
YoungFortunes services its customers by providing an educational program where young children can learn how to manage their money and have fun in the process. Its primary goal is to get young children into a habit of saving money, allocating it towards financial goals, and understanding the importance of managing their own money. It seeks to accomplish this task through a money management kit that includes access to a Web-based game. YoungFortunes is founded on the reality that the average student who graduates from high school lacks sufficient skills in personal money management and as a result, may establish bad financial management habits at an early age. Recent research shows that today's youth have grand sums of money at their disposal at an early age. A study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor found that 40% of children receive money in the form of allowances or handouts from their parents averaging $50 per week. Fifty dollars a week provides youth today with plenty of purchasing power - on everything from magazines to clothing apparel to video games. Marketers are well aware of this fact and are taking advantage of children's deep pockets; by age twenty, the average child will have seen 360,000 thirty-second commercials. With a wide array of influences on children's perceptions about acquiring material goods, it is essential that parents set a strong foundation of money-management skills before they get into bad spending habits.

Biography
Gabriel Aucar graduated from Manattan College in 2003 with a dual major in marketing and finance. He currently works at Morgan Stanley in their Commodities trade support group and is pursuing a part-time MBA degree in finance management at Pace University.

Minas Barbarakis - Gemini Biotech
FINALIST
  [Minas Barbarakis]
Gemini Biotech Inc will start as a high-tech, high-risk new venture specialized in performing basic research on protein biopharmaceuticals and possessing the most comprehensive patent portfolio in recombination-based technologies, for the creation of new and improved biotechnology products. Gemini Biotech's goal is to develop and commercialize improved and proprietary versions of currently marketed or clinically validated therapeutic proteins such as interferons, erythropoietin, and granulocyte colony stimulating factors. The company's technologies are fast, inexpensive, commercially-focused and are viewed as a competitive advantage.

Gemini Biotech will provide generic pharmaceutical companies with the biotechnology know-how that will allow them to diversify their activity within the biogeneric market. The company aims at gaining immediate access to the market by forging a marketing alliance initially with a generics firm, and then building a broad strategic alliance with additional partners. Gemini Biotech will be identified in the industry as a company:

  1. In the technology development business, possessing a solid state-of-the-art bacterial technology platform and able to validate preindustrial scale feasibility.
  2. Able to diversify its main platform's applications in other related fields.
  3. That licenses its technology to partners with production and marketing capabilities that are interested in diversifying their product pipelines.
Gemini Biotech's business model not only is scalable within its industry of interest (i.e., protein biopharmaceuticals) but also its proprietary technology can address a number of multi-billion dollar industries such as vaccines and gene therapy. The company's businesses and royalty and licensing income will provide multiple revenue streams to balance risk, drive innovation, deliver products and promote growth. The Management Team is definitely one of Gemini Biotech's strengths. Its founders have more than 45 years of combined experience in the field of biotechnology. The company's CEO has more than 5 years experience in leading product development projects from concept phase through the first year post release for sale via a formal stage-gate process. Responsibilities included management of: scheduling, risk, resources, financial expectations, technical issues, logistics, regulatory compliance and coordinating activities to optimize development, registration and commercialization.

Biography
Minas Barbarakis, Ph.D. in Bioanalytical Chemistry (1992); MS in Management of Technology (2003). In 2007 will also complete the MBA program at PACE University with double major in Strategic Management and Finance. Expert knowledge in the field of human diagnostics with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. Directed research projects at key players in the industry such as Ciba Corning Diagnostics, Chiron Diagnostics, Bayer Diagnostics and Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics.

Harry Brodsky, Ricky Huy La, Yury Shteyman, and Dmitry Voller - TrackPay
  [Harry Brodsky]
  [Ricky Huy La]
  [Yury Shteyman]
  [Dmitry Voller]
TrackPay offers business owners a unique service, which allows them to receive payments without any hassle or confusion. Often, companies receive wire payments and checks from sources without a description for what the payment is for. Without any remittance information, cash is usually not applied correctly. This could cause a serious problem with federal accounting standards if cash isn't applied correctly. TrackPay feels that there is great room for improvement in the area of accounting, and we are seeking to improve it through our unique approach of payment investigations.

Biographies
Harry Brodsky was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. He received his education from Pace University where he went on to graduate with a Bachelors degree in Information Systems and a concentration in Economics. He would go on to take his knowledge of technology to benefit the financial sector by working at Bank of America Securities for 2 years as a data analyst where he was responsible for programming report programs that translated the FX gains and losses of international stocks trades and bond prices. He now works at Viacom and is responsible for various accounting/financial responsibilities.

Ricky Huy La is a Technology Service Analyst at Columbia University, which gives him the great opportunity to develop his passion for Information Technology. After graduating from Pace University with a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems and a concentration in Technology Systems, he is currently pursuing his studies through a Masters program at Columbia University in Technology Management. Ricky enjoys challenges that will foster his business mindset, and his goal is to successfully manage a technology venture one day.

Yury Shteyman is a project manager of the New York City Department of Transportation. He joined DOT in 2002 as a technology intern and excelled through his career; rising through the ranks to project manager of technical development. During the past 5 years, Mr. Shteyman has headed several beneficial projects with the NYPD, DoITT, Telecom franchises, as well as other entities ranging in wireless data transmission, GIS, Intranet design, logistics, and database management. He graduated from Pace University with a bachelor's degree in Information Systems with a concentration in Technology systems.

Dmitry Voller was born in Ukraine in 1983. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Human Relations from Pace University. He served on the executive board of several organizations, including his fraternity. This gave him years of experience dealing with all aspects of running, maintaining and marketing an organization. He currently manages the daily operations of his family business.

Tarun Chopra - vINFO
  [Tarun Chopra]
vINFO is a 3D collaboration platform created by Virtual Soft, used by the global enterprises with complex 3D modeling capabilities initially targeting the IT industry. The core concept of the new business is to develop the collaboration software which will be 3D helping the global enterprises to communicate more effectively about the business problems. The software will provide a secure environment for corporations to collaborate, provide customer service, and demonstrate new IT products. A 3D data repository with features for instant and voice messaging will also be added. The main feature of the software will be to provide 3D computer systems modeling and data visualization capabilities, straight from IT company's product facilities into the 3D virtual world. The product vINFO can also be used educate new IT hires, helping them quickly assimilate company culture, language and learning tools.

Biography
Tarun Chopra is an MBA Student from the Westchester campus. Tarun holds a MS in Computer Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For the last six years, he has worked for IBM in zOS core technology department. Tarun primary job includes designing and implementing the zOS mainframe technologies for enterprise solutions. Recently, Tarun has been involved in IBM corporate strategy implementing the IBM on-line university project. In past, Tarun had been part of IBM leadership training and had led a team of 5 software engineers at the IBM technology lab in Russia. At the PACE MBA program, Tarun was the captain of the PACE equity research team, where it won the PACE equity contest and came third at the fifth annual New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) investment research challenge.

Julie Kawejsza - Swirl
  [Julie Kawejsza]
Inspired by visits to Napa Valley and Tuscany vineyards, a business plan for a fine wine tasting room in the heart of New York City. Wine is served by expert sommeliers that provide wine beginners and enthusiasts a place to come to taste and learn about many different kinds of wines seven days a week. It would serve approximately 300 California premium wines and mimic an atmosphere of a tasting room in Napa Valley.

Initial financing required is a $1,080,000 to be paid off in approximately 2 1/2 years. This amount will cover 1 year leasing of space, remodeling, glassware, furniture, decorations, computers and payment system.

Biography
The founder of Swirl is Julie Kawejsza, an MBA student at Pace University, graduating with an MBA in Marketing in May 2007. Her career experience includes two years of consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, four years of finance at sanofi-aventis, and over one year of marketing at sanofi-aventis. She is a hard worker that has a passion for and knowledge of wine.

Sheri Muth - Independence Painting
WINNER
  [Sheri Muth]
People with disabilities are the most underemployed but eligible to work population in the United States and this includes New York. Statistics have shown that people with disabilities want to work, are reliable workers and with limited, low cost supports. This social enterprise business plan for Independence Painting (IP) outlines a new way to combine the painting industry with rehabilitation supports to do business differently - with quality and competitiveness - that is "self supporting and supportive." Once developed and tested, this model and its training materials, is expandable into any county in the country. In addition to the parent company Jawonio, this business is a collaborative model that draws upon state funding as needed for training; low cost long term supports if necessary; summer youth work funding; and its community to reach the goal of training & independent employment of people with disabilities in addition to running a productive business with satisfied customers. People with disabilities working reduces or eliminates government benefits, establishes tax paying citizens in our communities, decreases enrollments in high cost day programs and provides a needed business service to the community.

Independence Painting (IP) will be an interior painting service focusing on recurring contracts for commercial office complexes, school, and not-for-profit organizations. IP will provide intensive job training prior to hire and supports on the job through social service funding to facilitate a reliable labor pool. In the summer IP will collaborate with the Youth Bureau for an employment program for special needs youth and college interns for work leadership/service learning. The collaboration will provide work leadership and role modeling for the youth, and leadership skill-building/service learning for the college students while in a real life work setting of painting. Crews of 2-4 workers with a skilled painter as work crew leader will be scheduled onto worksites in the community.

Biography
Sheri Muth, M.Ed., C.A.G.S, CRC, Director of Employment & Community Day Services at Jawonio, a regional Not-for-Profit regional rehabilitation organization, is currently completing a graduate certificate in Not-for-Profit Management - "Social Entrepreneurship Specialization" through the Pace University Graduate School of Public Administration. Ms. Muth holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University at Albany, a Masters of Education and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Springfield College in Rehabilitation Counseling and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Ms. Muth has 20 years of directing vocational, employment & business services during her 25 year career at Jawonio. During her tenure at Jawonio she has created numerous employment, training and day services programs for people with disabilities. Ms. Muth operates services in Rockland & Westchester Counties, offering a continuum of services for all disabilities groups to over 1400 individuals. Significant social enterprise accomplishments during her tenure include the the successful assumption of the contracts of a small bankrupt social services agency in Westchester county; operating a 2 million dollar, self- supporting, commercial cleaning business for people with disabilities specializing in government contracts.

Stephen O'Sullivan - Team Blue Chip
  [Stephen O'Sullivan]
Team Blue Chip (www.TeamBlueChip.com) will be a Web-based community where student athletes and collegiate coaches can interact and communicate. Users will be able to create profiles containing all of their vital information and statistics as well as pictures and digital video of themselves in action. When a coach decides he would like to recruit a student athlete he can simply look the athlete up, gain information that he needs to make educated decisions, and communicate using tools such as email, instant messenger, and text messaging. Both athletes and coaches will also be able to use their homepage as a way to track progress, keep calendared events, market their abilities, search the network, and communicate.

Biography
Stephen O'Sullivan is a recent MBA graduate from the New York City campus at Pace University and also has a BS from Marist College. Stephen is currently a project manager in a family operated construction company based in New York City as well as an assistant baseball coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Prior to his current positions, Stephen spent two years at Standard and Poors as an analyst in the securities pricing arm of the company. After graduating from college, Stephen spent two years playing professional baseball in both the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers organizations before his career ended due to injury. He currently lives in the Bronx with his fiancé and is pursuing the creation of TeamBlueChip.com.

William Phelps - Idea Storm Products, LLC and Yamodo
  [William Phelps]
Idea Storm Products, LLC is a new venture established to design and market a new series of imaginative games under the brand name Yamodo! ™ (ya-mode-o). The first of several volumes and versions is Yamodo! Volume 1 - an innovative drawing game that promises to inspire the imagination and great conversation.

Yamodo! is different from all other games because it is not only outrageously fun, but focuses on creative collaboration instead of an individual winner. The game can be played with friends, to get students thinking outside-the-box, as a fun intergenerational activity for families, or as a way to kick off a creative brainstorm session for adults. Additionally, the game promises to have people talking in no time as an ice-breaker at social events, youth camps, or at company activities.

Idea Storm Products is well on its way to establishing a unique brand that promises to celebrate the imagination. Initial sales have already demonstrated great sell-thru, while acceptance by Barnes & Noble and Discovery Channel Stores has further helped to establish the overall credibility of the product.

All efforts have been made to create a sustainable product that will develop a loyal brand following. The game is cost effective to produce, retails at an attractive price point, and additional versions are already being developed. In the coming years Idea Storm will work to implement its underlying mission statement by delivering games that promise to be fun, imaginative, and profitable.

Biography
William (Bill) graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in industrial design and a concentration in business. Since then, he has enhanced his professional career by teaching design courses in Australia, establishing a product consultancy, and working for a variety of entrepreneurial companies. Bill is currently attending the Pace part-time MBA program for entrepreneurship and international business (expected graduation 2008), while continuing to work full-time as the Vice President of Olympia Sports, an apparel design company in Elmsford, NY.

Bill's passion for products, people, and creative opportunities has been the driving factors in his career choices. A jack of all trades, Bill's design background is tempered by a strong business and entrepreneurial drive that has allowed him to succeed in diverse roles including product design, graphic design, management, manufacturing, and sales. His adaptive and resourceful nature is enhanced by a hands-on approach to all aspects of the job.

His future goals include successfully launching his new drawing game Yamodo, teaching design, and beginning a family. He hopes his ideas will help inspire the imagination and encourage creativity in others.

Yosuke Shiratori - Tokyo-Bay Business Helpers
  [Yosuke Shiratori]
Tokyo-Bay Business Helpers is a consulting company targeting Japanese micro enterprises, a virtually untapped consulting market in Japan. It aims to build this market, as well as its place within the market, utilizing a contingency-fee based payment system tied to improving customers' business outcomes. Such a fee system, combined with an emphasis on strong customer outreach and relations, will allow Tokyo-Bay Business Helpers to overcome uncertainty in the Japanese micro enterprise community in the face of this new business service. The combination will produce a business model easily replicable and thus capable of eventual expansion across Japan. The mantra of Tokyo-Bay Business Helpers is "Empowering Micro Enterprises."

Biography
Yosuke Shiratori is an MBA student from the New York campus. Yosuke holds a BA from Teikyo-Heisei University in Japan. Yosuke spent six years at Otari Inc., a professional audio equipment manufacturer in Japan, as a programmer, R&D engineer, marketing researcher, and project manager. As project manager, he produced an editing console for post-production studios, as well as an on-air mixing console for broadcast stations: the on-air console sold for $20,000 - $30,000. His experience working with clients in China, Korea, Bangladesh, and Malaysia contributed greatly to his sense of international business. In 2003, he arrived in the United States to further expand his perspective on international business and to prepare himself for a career as a global entrepreneur.

Dina Tate - BlackBridalGuide.com
FINALIST
  [Dina Tate]
BlackBridalGuide.com is the revolutionary online wedding destination for African American engaged couples seeking guidance for planning their nuptials. The site offers traditional and African bridal gowns, online wedding planning, a resource area for vendors, and a robust shopping portal that includes African china, wedding brooms and African furniture to decorate your home. BlackBridalGuide.com will offer an extensive bridal gown database, wedding supplies as well as African-inspired furniture for purchase. The goal of the Company is to educate and celebrate. The Web site will heighten the awareness of African American relationships and honor the heritage of the sanctity of marriage that has been passed through generation dating back to slavery. In addition, the site will host a plethora of sponsored content and site advertisers to meet the full range of needs an individual might encounter when planning their wedding. The Company will also provide tools and content to help newlyweds as they adjust to their first year of marriage.

BlackBridalGuide.com will specialize in providing a one-stop wedding destination for engaged African American couples. BlackBridalGuide.com has crafted a systematic approach to minimizing overhead and nonessential organizational development in the early years of operation to create a dynamic business and maximize financial, human, and intellectual resources. BlackBridalGuide.com will have solid sales through numerous revenue streams: merchandise sales, site advertisers, sponsored content and an annual wedding expo. The Company will form strategic partnerships with industry professionals through contracts ranging from three months to one year to display a wide array of wedding services and products geared toward the African American community.

Biography
President and Founder Dina C. Tate has over seven years of e-commerce experience. Ms.Tate has worked at such Web sites as ESSENCE by Mail.com (EBM), BlackPlanet.com, sabonnyc.com and New York CityStore. During her tenure at EBM she increased Web site sales by 190% in one year. Ms. Tate has been profiled in The Network Journal and MIN's New Media Report. Ms. Tate has also acted as consultant to several small business companies. Today Ms. Tate is Senior Marketing Services Consultant at New York Life Insurance Company. Ms. Tate is also an Adjunct Professor at Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) where she teaches courses such as Advertising and Sales Promotion, Principles of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.