Will Get Chance to Compete for $10,000 in National Ideas Competition

Posted October 24, 2023

ORLANDO, Fla. – Congratulations to the four winners of the Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition—Azzam Alhussain with AI Medical Imaging Solutions, Claire Bury with SeptiSmart, Hiba Zuberi with Papyrus and Kaylyn Weston with Pet Connect—who took home $1,000 each and will get the opportunity to compete for $10,000 in the National Ideas Competition.

The four business ideas bested a field of 70 submissions in the recent Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition, which challenges students to showcase their ideas to a panel of judges and entrepreneurial leaders. The students submitted their ideas in one of four tracks: Social & Climate Impact, Health & Life Sciences, Consumer Products & Services, or General. The UCF winners in each category were:

  • Social & Climate Impact: Zuberi (Economics) pitched Papyrus, a sustainable in-office paper recycling unit that uses old/used paper to create new paper.
  • Health & Life Sciences: Alhussain (Engineering & Computer Science) led with AI Medical Imaging Solutions, a low-cost medical imaging service using AI and Computer Vision on edge platforms.
  • Consumer Products & Services: Bury (Mechanical Engineering) won with SeptiSmart, a septic tank monitor that automates eco-compliance and maintenance.
  • General: Weston (Integrated Business) created Pet Connect, an online community for passionate pet enthusiasts that promotes pet well-being.

“I want to congratulate all of the brave Knights who shared and tested their ideas for our judges,” said Cameron Ford, the founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Executive Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at UCF and a professor of entrepreneurship at UCF. “Competitions like this teach students that investing in their entrepreneurial mindsets, skillsets and venture proposals will improve their career readiness and develop their identity as creators, innovators and entrepreneurial leaders.”

The Blackstone LaunchPad network comprises 75 campuses, including UCF, and seeks to ensure entrepreneurship is accessible and relevant to every college student, regardless of major or future goals. University students enter the Ideas Competition at their respective schools, and the top four winners at each school advance to the national competition. The competition is designed to give students with early-stage ideas the opportunity to compete for cash prizes and further their ideas.

About UCF College of Business

Established in 1968, the UCF College of Business offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and executive levels. All programs, as well as the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting are accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The college provides high-quality academic programs designed to give students a competitive advantage in the world of business now and in the future. The college promotes a unique culture of engagement, risk taking, cross-disciplinary collaboration and data-driven decision making in an effort to ensure students are well prepared to enter a dynamic marketplace. Learn more at business.ucf.edu.