Business Plan Competition: And the Winner Is…

Rising to the top among an initial 80 competitors, the Synova Life Sciences team won the second annual Business Plan Competition hosted by Mihaylo College’s Center for Entrepreneurship on Wednesday.

The team, including Cesar Anchante, Thomas Flores, Bryan Trivedi and CEO John Chi, presented their winning business plan to competition judges at the final event. Synova Life Sciences “provides a service to doctors to process and purify stem cells for their patients” and possibly help cure osteoarthritis.

The team was awarded $3,000 in cash and $18,000 in-kind services. “I think none of us were looking at the prizes,” said Chi. “It’s just really great because this can fund some of our operations.”

Members of Synova pictured with Professor Jackson. From left to right: Bryan Trivedi, Cesar Anchante, CEO John Chi, Professor Jackson, and Thomas Flores.

Sophomore Nick Ajluni, a Mihaylo business honors student, is the founder and CEO of NixFix Chasers, and he was awarded second place: $2,000 in cash and $9,000 in-kind services. NixFix Chasers is sold in powder packets and when mixed with water becomes a chaser for an alcoholic beverage. Ajluni has created unique flavors that work well with any type of alcohol, and his targeted market is the college scene.

Mayra Figueroa placed third and received $1,000 in cash and $8,000 in-kind services. She is the owner, manager and stylist of The Edge, “a place for men to experience the luxury of salon services in the atmosphere of a barbershop.” She walked the audience through her presentation explaining that her retro barbershop will be a one-stop shop for men; among the salon’s services are close shaves, massages, facials and manicures. Her goal is to be up and running by summer of 2014.

The event’s judges were Joe Burke from Goodwill of Orange County, France Helfer from Halo Healthcare, Stephen Jester from Refractor, Don Kasle from Tech Coast Angels, Peter Meyers from Security Bank of California and Michael Sawitz from FastStart.studio. The three finalists answered judges’ questions after their presentation and were scored on how well they knew their markets and how they created their business models.

“It was a smashing success,” said Jackson of the competition that is open to all CSUF students. “We’ve been delighted with the creativity of the students’ business concepts.”

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