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Business Plan Challenge announces finalists; Vote today in People's Pick

Today we unveil the top six finishers in all three tracks of the 16th Annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, and you get to vote for your favorite plans in the Community and FIU Tracks. The People’s Pick competition, now in its eighth year as part of the Challenge, is open for voting.

With just a couple of days’ notice, the contenders presented their elevator pitches under the hot lights of the Miami Herald and FIU studios earlier this month.

To vote for your favorite contestants, here’s what to do:

Click on the “vote” button on MiamiHerald.com/Challenge (top left) to bring up the voting page or click here. View any of the short videos of the finalists’ elevator pitches. The six selections in the FIU Track follow the Community Track.

Then scroll down to the bottom of the page to cast your ballot, voting for one video in each track. You may vote once per day.

Lastly, get out the vote! Give your favorite entrepreneurial team more support by asking your social networks to vote. In previous contests, we've had votes from all over the world. Follow along on Twitter with #mhchallenge.

Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. May 11. The teams with the most votes in each track will be awarded the People’s Pick and honored in the May 19 Business Monday section along with the judges’ selections. Go here to vote.

Today, we are also naming the finalists in the High School Track. The 2014 finalists in all three tracks are:


AthleticSelect, by Travis Smith and Eric Dooling, connects aspiring athletes and their parents with experienced private coaches in their area and offers tools to help coaches market and monetize their business.

Feel Good’s, by Steve Capellini and Patricia Woodson, provides the spa experience in a novel manner and unique environment, focusing on community involvement and technological integration.

Fitting Room Social, by Brad Liff, is more than a consumer fashion app, it’s a full-service e-commerce platform designed to help women answer the question, “Will this fit me?”

Miami Exchange, by Catherine Penrod and Audrey Nelligan, is a contact center business for small businesses, with a keen focus on healthcare service providers.

Munchkin Fun, by Valerie Schimel, Molly Blanco and Aleesa Adams, functions like a Ticketmaster for kids’ classes and camps, giving parents a single place to find and book children’s programs.

Snapscore, by Ryan Del Rosal, Newt Porter and Taylor Auerbach, measures individuals’ qualifications and provides meaningful insights to accelerate their careers. Similar to a credit score, Snapscore is a baseline of their current professional merit.


Groove Caddy, by Jose Espin, Carlos Martell and Mike Lowell, introduces a product that revolutionizes the way people clean their golf clubs, particularly in the grooves.

Kloset Karma, by Paula Celestino and Christopher Rivera, is a fashion exchange marketplace mobile app that allows users to affordably update wardrobes by finding new or almost-new clothing within their communities and to pay using a controlled point currency system.

Moonlighter, by Daisy Nodal and Tom Pupo, is a tech cafe and lounge that allows local designers, entrepreneurs and the public to co-create, prototype and retail new products.

Recall Safe, by Steven Rojas Tallon, is focused on alerting consumers directly of recalls and safety warnings, seeking to change the entire process and help avoid preventable injuries or deaths.

Summer Camp Live, by Vicky di Colloredo-Mels, Carlo di Colloredo-Mels, Felipe Ospina and Juan Pablo Villegas, is a new way for summer camp owners to promote their services and to cost effectively communicate with camp seekers worldwide.

XDG Technologies, by Carlos Hondal and Dr. Juan Roig, has developed a proprietary hand-held medical device for the treatment of a genetic medical condition called polydactyly (extra fingers or toes) and the removal of skin tags.


Amplify, by Adam Chiavacci, Daniel Stein and Jack Davis of Ransom Everglades, would link up to six phones together so the host smartphone playing music can utilize all the other phones’ speakers as though it were its own.

Chinese Picture Dictionary, by Dante Bolzan, Adam Moreno-Mendelson and Ethan Arteaga of Ransom Everglades, is an app called Xue Wen, the Chinese word for knowledge, that provides a Chinese/Chinese-English dictionary with photo recognition software.

FoodNection, by Gavin Sitkoff-Vuong and Sabrina Ibarra of Ransom Everglades, will connect chefs, restaurants and passionate foodies through a Web platform and app.

Maestro Rhythm, by Annabel Chyung of Ransom Everglades, is a game app that will help both beginner and advanced musicians triumph over their frustrations with rhythm.

MoodPoint, by Catherine Lindsay of Ransom Everglades, is an iPhone app that detects and offers basic relief for all forms of mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety.

Word Avenger, by Gerlannda Asse, Evanson Telisme, Franceline Pierre-Louis and Frantz Senat of Miami Edison, is a fun mobile app game created to help improve vocabulary and word knowledge.