Four Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Learning Community students competed at the Baylor University New Venture Competition where they presented their idea for a frozen yogurt kiosk, placing in the top 12.
The Baylor New Venture Competition is a three-day business plan and speed pitch competition promoting entrepreneurship. The competition is about coaching, connection, collaboration and new venture creation.
Henry Berkemeier and Marek Davis, industrial engineering; Aarti Panda, computer science; and Bharat Agarwal, management, make up FroYo XPress, a fast casual frozen yogurt kiosk. FroYo XPress brings a trendy, self-serve froyo experience to consumers at pre-existing, high-foot traffic retailers, disrupting the Frozen Yogurt Stores Industry which is currently dominated by brick and mortar froyo shops.
“Instead of going to a frozen yogurt shop, customers purchase and serve a desired amount of frozen yogurt at a kiosk, Berkemeier said. “The idea came about one night in a freshman residential hall when Davis planned to refill his water bottle from the Harrison Grille. He found out that he couldn’t operate a simple machine only because of a locked door and quickly realized a need for automated food and beverage dispensing. That night we all went out for frozen yogurt and the collaboration began.”
FroYo XPress was one of 12 teams out of 166 selected for the finals. Competing against 11 teams from across the country was a rewarding experience for the team members.
Panda said the team competed against many graduate student teams who spent several years researching and establishing a business plan for their idea.
“To be an undergraduate team competing at this level was eye opening. We also learned a lot from other teams about presenting, networking and business creation.”
Berkemeier added the team applied what they learned in their entrepreneurship courses at the competition.
“The competition judges were entrepreneurs and investors. We had to be ready to answer any question asked. We learned a solid business plan, a flawless presentation and the appropriate attire was needed from our entrepreneurship courses.”
Currently the team is continuing to compete in competitions and finalizing their business model to help grow their product.
Writer: Sayde Uerkwitz