Digital entrepreneurs win big at Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge FIU Track

After winning both the FIU track and the People’s Pick of The Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, the folks behind Redify said they are ready to put their product on the market.

“We are now moving to where investors will become interested in what we are doing,” said Victor Okoh Ph.D. ’11, CEO of Redify, an app that allows consumers to scan a product to see if it contains chemicals that may be harmful to one’s health.

RedifyNow in its 20th year, the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge is presented by FIU’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center and the College of Business. The FIU Track, one of three tracks in the competition, is open to all FIU students and alumni.

The adage that “necessity is the mother of invention” rang true for Okoh, who came up with the idea for the app when he and his wife found out from a pediatrician that their twin daughters were developing prematurely, probably from chemical ingredients in products they used.

VDrill, an app that connects athletes with personal trainers and helps athletes monitor and track their performance, won second place in the FIU track of the Herald Business Plan Challenge. VDrill’s team includes FIU students Tyrone Walker, Jocelyn Wert and Jaleel Jolly.

VdrillAll athletes train, but some can’t afford effective training or a trainer–and that’s the void VDrill fills. The app allows for trainers to manage multiple clients and for athletes to manage schedules and measure progress. VDrill also helps athletes who lack the resources for effective training by providing them a platform that serves as a personal training tool for all.

Major Marketplace, an online platform that connects small minority-owned businesses with consumers, won third place.

Major MarketplaceMajor Marketplace is launching this summer. Socially conscious consumers who want to support minority businesses can look on Major Marketplace for items that include clothing, accessories, shoes and beauty products. The company plans to expand to offer more products and services.

“My team is made up of FIU grads, and without them, I wouldn’t be able to do this,” said founder Leyanis Diaz’15.

In addition to the networking and support she received from Phi Mu Fraternity, she said she received guidance, mentorship and expertise from StartUp FIU and other departments.

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