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Finalists Announced for UB’s ‘Rise to the Challenge’ Business Pitch Competition


Judges in UB’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation have selected seven students as finalists for the upcoming “Rise to the Challenge” Pitch Competition. The annual event, now in its sixth year, provides an opportunity for UB undergraduates and graduates, from all schools, to pitch ideas and concepts for new and existing businesses before a live audience of their peers, UB staff and entrepreneurial experts.

This year, six undergraduate students and one graduate student will compete, in two separate business categories, for more than $6,500 in seed money and in-kind professional services. Judges representing the local business community will join UB alums and experts in selecting the winners.

The finalists and their businesses are:

Aspiring Business Ventures

Patrick Cochran (BS ’19), who will be pitching Com-Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, which is designed to provide residential composting to Harford county homeowners.

Joseph Fili (JD ’18), whose startup Olo Surf aims to introduce online connectivity and  accessibility to the surfing community.

Kayleigh Harkay (BS ’19), who has created PerdidoFido, a GPS- and vital health-tracking pet collar used to protect and communicate between owner, pet and veterinarian.

Nicholas Whited (BS ’19), who founded RaxCity to provide unique marketing opportunities for urban businesses through custom bike racks.

Existing Business Venture

Brianna Billups (BS ’18), founder of Fully Grown, a service- and product-driven company on a mission to help communities eat balanced, nutritious meals.

Brian Kochesfahani (BS ’19), who will be presenting B’More Fluff, a mobile service offering hand-spun, organic cotton candy to the Baltimore events industry.

Veronica Owens (BS ’19), owner of Monarch Butterfly EcoHomes, which partners with non-profit communities to turn vacant properties into eco-friendly homes.

The “Rise to the Challenge” competition, sponsored by UB’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and designed to generate awareness of new and emerging innovative business ventures nurtured by the UB community, is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the M. Scot Kaufman Auditorium in UB's William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center (home of the Merrick School of Business), 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

The event is free and open to the public. Please R.S.V.P. here to attend.