New Business Concept Finalists
Earlybird Childcare (EBCC) is an innovative premium child care provider in Germany. EBCC offers three different products. The core product is bilingual child care with a premium provider-child ratio. It is supported by classes where children can develop skills in music, arts, sports and languages. EBCC also has a playground where parents can spend quality-time with their children, meet other parents and get the EBCC staff's support.
EBCC's target customers are families where both parents pursue their career and single parent families. The target customers work in a demanding work environment; have a high income of at least 120.000 per household, a university or college degree, and speak at least one foreign language.
Germany's child care market is still largely state-run and in many areas vastly underdeveloped. Only 13% of all children younger than three years attend a day care center — in France the number is 40%. The German government recently introduced subsidies and tax breaks for using child care and to support new private childcare facilities.
EBCC's competitors are other premium child care providers and nannies. But nannies require a great amount of trust and there is no quality control. To distinguish itself from these competitors, EBCC aims for close cooperation with the employer. Companies will be allowed to buy a number of child care places in a facility and distribute these to their employees. The employer pays part of the fee in order to keep key employees and offer them a better work-life balance. The additional education and the playground services were inspired by Apple Seeds and Citibabes in New York City and will be unique in Germany.
EBCC will establish a brand that stands for high-quality child care, close cooperation with the employer and all kinds of extra services that make the parents' life easier and the time with their kids more valuable.
Full-day child care is priced at 1.500 monthly; half-day is priced at 900 monthly. At the desired level of utilization a facility creates about 900.00 in revenues. It will reach profitability in the second year. If the company is eligible for government subsidies the facility will operate with a profit margin of 9.5% and an EBIT margin of 16%. The initially required investment amounts to 1 million.
>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)
Frederik Gieschen is taking courses in entrepreneurship as an exchange student at Pace. When he compared the day care situation in the United States and Germany he had the idea for his new business concept. He also adapted unique concepts of local companies like Citibabes and Apple Seeds. After his high school graduation in Germany he started studying business administration at the University of Mannheim, Germany's leading public university for business studies (where he will graduate in summer 2009). He set up a limited corporation and started a business during his studies in fall 2007. He also worked with his father who owned a software company for several years and now works as an business consultant. Frederik assisted his father establishing a venture that supports small and growing businesses with marketing and financial controlling tools and expertise through a network of certified trainers. Apart from entrepreneurship, Frederik is a passionate value investor was the second student to become part of Germany's first centre for value investors. In 2009 he will be part of the German investor's meeting at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Back in Germany he is part of a team of authors that published their first book project in October 2008.
Before the recent drop in energy prices, diesel fuel and natural gas prices were close to record highs making the Tar Sands of northern Canada and heavy crude of Venezuela and California much more profitable to refine; however, current methods implemented by oil companies to refine such products remain incredibly inefficient. The Company plans to effectively out compete the likes of Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and BP by innovating on the smaller scale to become a very small player in both the United States market and the global energy market.
Nyex Industries will be a premier recycling company with a focus on alternative energy created trough a unique process. Nyex would realize numerous competitive advantages through the purchase of a vacuum microwave machine purchased from Global Resources Corporation as well as partnerships with various strategic partners. The vacuum microwave unit utilizes specific microwave frequencies that would be able to "crack" the hydrocarbon structure in shredded tires. The aforementioned "cracking" process produces diesel fuel, and natural gas. Nyex Industries would be able to sell these refined products and other byproducts in a high demand market while maintaining a gross margin approaching seventy-five percent in the first year.
While other companies produce tire-derived fuel (TDF) Nyex would possess an absolute advantage over them via the unique energy-rich, environmentally friendly (zero emissions) process of microwave "cracking" that will be implemented. Nyex would experience minimal explicit costs consisting of slight transportation costs, very low input cost, as well as various fixed costs, emphasizing the already existent absolute advantage. Sales would escalate from approximately $70,000 the first month of production reaching approximately $450,000 by the fourth month; rounding out the first year we would anticipate sales approaching $3.7 million. Nyex would produce the following quantities of materials based on a conservative 8 hour per day, 250 day per year production schedule:
#4 Fuel Oil: 28,575 barrels per year — refineries and cruise ships Steel: 250,000 lbs. per year — metal recycling facilities in Chicago and Des Moines Carbon Ash: 7.5 million lbs. per year — concrete production factories in the Midwest Energy from Natural Gas: 50,000 MW — area energy providers
>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)
Joel Nybeck is currently a student at NYU's Stern School of Business studying economic theory, politics, computer science and mathematics. Prior to coming to New York, Nybeck worked extensively in the commodities industry while doing commodity price analysis and advisement for Rusk Metal Company, a metal recycling firm based in Epworth, Iowa. During his time spent at Rusk Metal Company Nybeck did considerable amounts of research and analysis regarding the drivers of industrial metal prices as well as various other commodities handled by Rusk Metal, including engine oil and petroleum-based industrial cleaning products. Nybeck has strong ties to the energy industry with connections to a family-owned oil company in Houston, Texas, as well as relationships with employees of an oil-services company also based near Houston in the Woodlands, Texas.
You don't have to be David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider to have your car talk to you. OpenOtto is a platform for developing vehicle aware products for the consumer and industrial markets. While it will not ask you how you're doing this evening, most people don't realize how much information your car's computer can tell you. OpenOtto consists of a hardware interface to your car's OBD II connector as well as an extensible software platform for communicating with all networked electronic devices in the car. Designed for flexibility and scalability, it is easily expandable to future vehicle capabilities.
OpenOtto consists of two products targeted to different markets. The first is a car computer that acts as an interface between your car's computer and a 4" x 8" touch screen display that attaches to your dashboard. The interface shows easy to understand graphical output from your car's computer including, but not limited to, standard OBD II output: coolant temperature, engine speed, oxygen sensor readings, and emission related trouble codes. Advanced features include outputting suspension control, anti-lock/traction control, and air bag status.
Additional safety and security features include a remote start and kill feature for anti-theft or convenience, display warnings to users when the transmission begins to fail, individual wheel speed indicating wheel slippage, and real-time engine performance monitoring.
The second product is priced lower for the general consumer. It includes the ability to attach any cell phone with GPS to OpenOtto. Once attached, the car's computer will text message someone (e.g., a parent) if the car exceeds a certain speed and GPS coordinates will be texted, and call 911 if airbags deploy (no proprietary subscription necessary).
Safety and security is important and built into the computer engineering designs. Some features will be access controlled and transmission of all sensitive data transmitted by OpenOtto will be encrypted using industry standard best practices to ensure safety, security, and privacy of the user.
The software and hardware designs will be released as free and open source designs to encourage adoption and adaptation of the features.
For consumers, a complete dashboard mounted display with computer will cost between $300-$500.00. The closest product currently on the market costs between $1000.-$5000.000 and does not include open software and hardware platforms, graphical dash board mounted displays, or customizable features. The low cost consumer device will target a retail cost of $100-$200.
Try getting KITT for that price.
>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)
Tiffany Strauchs Rad is the President of ELCnetworks, LLC, a technology and business development consulting firm in Portland, Maine. Her consulting services include developing business plans, strategic planning, intellectual property management, market studies, and launching products for inventors and entrepreneurs. In addition to working for ELCnetworks, she is also a part-time professor in the computer science department at the University of Southern Maine teaching computer law and ethics.
Tiffany's academic background includes study of international law and policy at Oxford University in England, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, Maine School of Law, Portland, Maine as well as intellectual property at Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in public policy, ethics, and history with a double major in philosophy. Following her studies at Carnegie Mellon, Tiffany studied classic literature and philosophy and received an MA from St. John's College, Annapolis, MD. During law school, Tiffany began part-time graduate business school studies online in 2000 and received her MBA from the University of Phoenix right after her JD. Her academic and voluntary service earned her the U.S. Gold Congressional Award in 1999. She is a dual citizen of the USA and Latvia.
All too often baggage claims are filled with luggage that looks exactly the same, and many times people mistakenly pick up the wrong bag. There's nothing like getting to the vacation you've planned all year or that business meeting that can put your company on the map, and realizing you have someone else's shirts! Ug-Lug's concept is to create one of a kind, uniquely 'ugly' luggage that is almost immediately recognizable at first glance to its owner. The distinctive advantage of Ug-Lug comes from the use of environmentally friendly, recyclable and reusable materials in the creation of each piece. Each piece of handmade luggage will be made up of recycled materials, including but certainly not limited to: airplane, car and bus seats and seat belts, recycled tires and tubes, re-usable leather goods such as purses, saddles, jackets, belts, etc. Also to be included is plastics, recycled clothing and fabrics such as denim, reusable zippers, sails from boats, and recycled vinyl and mesh, to name a few. Aluminum is one of the few raw materials that need to be purchased from a manufacturer to ensure the highest quality when it comes to making the framing. As long as people continue to fill up landfills, the possibilities of usable materials are limitless.
The concept is not only limited to the luggage that one would check. The luggage industry encompasses hand luggage, briefcases, computer cases, carry-ons, garment bags and carriers, kids luggage, totes, backpacks, motorcycle packs, duffel bags and handbags. Ug-Lug will have pieces designed in sets, and separately to meet the demands, both large and small, of all types of travelers.
The uniqueness factor, coupled with the trend to go 'green' sets Ug-Lug apart from all its competitor's generic luggage products, where the only choice the consumer makes is in the color. Ug-Lug aims to spark a worldwide trend towards recycling goods and products into durable, quality luggage and accessories, thus keeping tons of non-biodegradable items from landfills. Our main goal: Enabling people to be part of the movement towards creating a better world by providing well designed, high-quality, practical products made from truly sustainable materials and supporting fair labor/fair trade practice.
>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)
My name is Michael Rawlins, and I am currently a student at Pace University in the Lubin School of Business. I am in my senior year and will be receiving a BBA in Entrepreneurship upon graduation in May of 2009. My concept of Ug-Lug was created after a situation I found myself in on Spring Break. Currently I am the co-owner of a sports performance training facility out of Pearl River, NY. After having our college football careers cut short by injuries, myself and my lifelong friend and business partner, TJ, decided to take our passion for sports and help young, aspiring athletes better themselves physically. The Training Factory, which focuses on speed, strength, and flexibility training, was born out of TJ's 400 square foot basement in the Winter of 2006. We've since moved out of the basement and into a 1500 sq foot facility, with plans to relocate into a 4500 square foot building by year's end. After only two short years, many of our athletes have gone onto compete at the Division 1 level in football, baseball and basketball with full athletic scholarships. We currently have over 75 athletes, male and female, walk through our doors weekly, and their accolades and accomplishments are testaments to our results.
UrbanPing! is the mobile, social networking system enabling real-time communication between mobile system users. Using wireless signal patterns, GPS/assisted GPS, and Bluetooth to implement user tracking, UrbanPing! enables users to receive real-time, system-generated, lists of active members matching requirements for proximity and user profile specification. Imagine connecting to, and meeting with, like minded-people while out for a night on the town! UrbanPing! combines the application features of popular social networking sites with mobile technologies to create unique interpersonal experiences. By enabling users to update their availability status and profile properties in real time, UrbanPing! pairs active users with other members looking to connect, now.
How It Works: UrbanPing! user profiles include demographic information: age, marital status, proximity limit for active user connection, availability status, type of networking / relationship sought. Upon joining, the new member downloads and installs UrbanPing!'s mobile device software.
Users with "active" status are sent a list of fellow "active" users matching their profile criteria. Each user listing links to a mobile profile summary. To initiate contact, a user selects the "PingMe!" option from the selected profile. If the user receiving the "HelloPing!" wants to communicate, he or she will select the "UrbanChat!" option contained in the interface. UrbanPing! provides buddy list functionality enabling users to track UrbanBuddies! on a Google Maps-style grid. All system access and user authentication, via web or mobile device, will be managed through secure login. Initial communication is conducted anonymously via the mobile UrbanPing! chat client.
Marketing Strategy: A stand-alone, server version of the UrbanPing! system aides vendors wishing to expand their marketing / advertising efforts into the mobile space. Servers located on Bluetooth enabled billboards, retail stores and nightspots will "ping" subscribers special offers and or upcoming event information, for example. The server system also provides up- to-date campaign reporting activity from a lightweight reporting tool. Competitive Advantages:
- Unlike Facebook and MySpace, UrbanPing! integrates mobile device implementation immediately
- Java J2ME provides a mobile interface supported by a wide range of mobile devices
- Competitors like Dodgeball, Mologogo and MeetMoi fail to deliver equal functionality
- Business model includes platform licensing, fees for promotional campaigns, and charging users for value-added features
As applications for UrbanPing! expands (e.g. meet-up groups, instant services for hire, real time gaming) competitors are discouraged from entering market.
>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)
Teresa Nicole Brooks is a professional software developer and a graduate student at Pace University's Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. She is pursuing her Masters degree in Computer Science and is slated to graduate in May 2009. For her thesis project, Teresa is currently developing a prototype for an application that uses AI techniques natural language processing and intelligent agents to generate RSS feeds based on observed user interests.
Teresa's professional / technical interests include (but are not limited to), mobile technology & development, web development, robotics, artificial intelligence and networking & software security. In addition to her studies, Teresa is currently writing a high level, concept paper for her new business concept: UrbanPing.