ORLANDO, Fla.— Four student teams will face off for $75,000 in cash and essential business services at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 21, in the finals of the annual Joust New Venture Competition.  The finals, which are free and open to the public, will be held in the UCF Pegasus Ballroom in the Student Union on the UCF main campus.

The four teams remaining from the field of 16 semi-finalists in this year’s Joust competition are:2017 Joust Finalists Celebrating after semifinals

Earthy Creations (Jasmine Yamini, Akeem Sankey, Caroline Castille): Offers delicious, juicy, nutrient-dense dried fruit snacks as a healthy, tasty, and earth-friendly alternative to unhealthy candy fruit chews and bland dried fruit options.

EsportsEDU (James Kozachuk, Evan Frawley, Jesse Wang): The mission of EsportsEDU’s program is to provide competitive, community, and academic programs for high school youth passionate about video games.

Let’s C: Learning English (Mei Wang, Tze Fung, Lauren Polson): Let’s C is an online platform for real-time English language tutoring between tutors from English-speaking universities and students in Hong Kong. We differentiate ourselves through focused curriculum and mutually beneficial university partnerships

Yaupon Brothers Tea (Kyle White, Bryon White): Yaupon Brothers Tea is a company focused on producing and distributing tea from the Yaupon Holly. Yapon is a Florida native plant rich in anti-oxidants and North America’s only native caffeinated plant.

“This year’s Joust featured ventures proposed by some of the most creative and brave Knights on campus. Over 40 business leaders contributed their time and expertise judging these proposals.” said Dr. Cameron Ford, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “It was a great day full of learning, networking and celebrating.  In the end, four ventures advanced to the Joust finals, but all of the participants took an important step toward fulfilling their potential as entrepreneurial leaders.”

The Joust is one of the premier events of the UCF College of Business’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.  Students present their models for a viable business venture and compete to win money and other resources to pursue their venture. The Joust is open to all UCF students and all types of venture proposals.

The students’ business plans are assessed by a panel of expert professionals representing corporate partners, area businesses and alumni. This year’s presenting sponsors are Steven Felkowitz, ’79; DigiThinkIT, Inc.; Burr+Foreman; and Jim Balaschak, ’86 & ’92, and Debbie Balaschak,’88. Additional sponsors include Anidea Engineering, Inc., BDO, Nperspective, LLC, and William Hendrickson Consulting.

PHOTO: Dr. Cameron Ford (clockwise from top), Director of the Center for Entrpreneurial Leadership, celebrates with Joust finalists Kyle White (Yaupon Brothers Tea), Tze Fung (Let’s C), Mei Wang (Let’s C), Lauren Polson (Let’s C), Jasmine Yamini (Earthy Creations) and James Kozachuk EsportsEDU).