Blum Center Sponsors 2016 Business Plan Competition

Congratulations to the 2016 Paul Merage School of Business – Business Plan Competition Award Recipients! Community business leaders awarded 39 finalists out of an initial pool of more than 80 applicants. To learn more, read on at:

The Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation co-sponsored the 2016 Business Plan Competition with UCI Applied Innovation and The Paul Merage School of Business on May 6. At the end of the competition, twelve student-led entrepreneur teams at University of California, Irvine won top prizes. Community business leaders oversaw and judged 40 finalists from 80 original applicants. The prizes included cash awards, as well as legal services and access to workspaces that will allow the teams to further advance their business ideas.

The categories for the competition were life sciences/clean technology, consumer products and information technology/Web. Special prizes were also given to teams that worked with UCI intellectual property, medical school intellectual property, and ideas related to poverty alleviation. Awards were given for the overall most outstanding undergraduate business plan, which include the following:

“EmbryLux” took first prize — the concept for a device that screens embryos before implantation to predict their chances of resulting in a successful birth. The team consisted of Tiffany Chien, Yingkai Su, Thai Nguyen, Shin Fukazawa, and Daniel Tran.

Second place went to “Carbo,” a therapeutic robot to supplement home, classroom and clinic therapy for autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with Pooja Raja, Rickesh Patel, Xuemei Zhang, Ahmed Khorshid and Ting-Shuo Chou.

Winner of the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation’s Designing Solution for Poverty Award was “Negocios & Etc.,” an online platform to connect business owners or decision-making employees with high-quality but affordable consultancies, as well as through a unique social network. Caroline Cypriano, Pravin Surana and Fabio Sato received a $10,000 check for their efforts, their award sponsored by Paul and Dimple Dhillon.

Congratulations to Negocios & Etc for winning the Blum Center award at the 2016 Paul Merage School of Business – Business Plan Competition! To learn more, read on at:


This award builds on the stand alone competition that took place in Spring 2015 — going to the team that best harnessed an innovative idea to make a social impact. It assessed the teams on five categories: innovation, potential for impact, viability, sustainability, and quality.

For more information about the Paul Merage Business Plan Competition and the other recipients, read on at: