To find out what’s next, check out UB’s Business Plan Competition

To find out what’s next, check out UB’s Business Plan Competition

After a decade working as a telecommunications engineer, Mahmoud Morshedy began thinking about bringing technology to market that empowers doctors to treat patients more safely and effectively by increasing the accuracy of their diagnostic tools.

On Friday, Morshedy took a significant step closer to fulfilling that goal when he won the University of Bridgeport (UB) 2018 Business Plan Competition, an annual Shark Tank-style event where students won $4,000 in cash and grants.

Morshedy, who left his job at Nokia to earn a master’s degree in technology management from UB two years ago, won the top prize of $1,000 for “Envision.”

The device uses mixed technology to turn two-dimensional X-ray slides, MRI’s, and other medical scans into 3-D holographic images.

“Every operation carries a certain amount of risk. Envision allows surgeons and other medical professionals to look at organs from different angles without having to operate on a patient,” Morshedy said after the April 13 event.

As it happens, Envision is just one of several products Morshedy is developing for Immersive Shift Labs, the company he is set to launch with help from UB’s Student Entrepreneur Center (SEC).

Founded in 2015, the SEC has equipped over 150 student-entrepreneurs with free legal, marketing, and business-planning advice–even office space. Of that group, 16 students have launched successful new businesses of their own, and dozens more have won prize money at start-up competitions throughout the state. Take Morshedy: his plans for Envision won the Best Written Executive Summary Award at the Connecticut Venture Competition in the fall of 2017.

At UB, the annual Business Plan Competition is hosted at the Arnold Bernhard Center by the SEC. Though it’s only open to UB student-entrepreneurs, the springtime event has become “a real draw for anyone interested in services, products, and companies that have the power to change the way we think and do business,” said SEC Director Elena Cahill.

This year, seven students made it to the Business Competition’s final round on April 13. That’s when each presented five-minute pitches to a panel of alumni judges: Angelica Castillo ’10, a publicist for Macy’s; Lawrence Santora ’69 a retired marketing professional from Pitney Bowes and a member of the UB Alumni Board; and Jack Sullivan ’10, a marketing executive.

Three winners were awarded $1,500 total in cash and another $2,500 in grants that were underwritten by the SEC and Fairfield, CT-based Entrepreneur Foundation.

Dr. Dana Wade, an MBA student, came in second with Monitor My Health. The not-for-profit uses a mobile screening lab to travel throughout the community and test individuals for diabetes, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and high cholesterol. Patients’ screening results and lifestyle change recommendations are then viewed on Monitor My Health’s mobile app. Wade won $300 plus six months of office space at Bridgeport Innovation Center for the price of one month’s rent.

Mohamed Naamani, an electrical engineering major, came in third for Home Cooked, an online catering business. He was awarded $200 plus six months of co-working space in the B:Hive, the downtown Bridgeport office collective, for the price of one month’s rent.

“We were delighted to see the engineering students competing in and excelling in a traditionally B-school domain. If we can take the next logical step, with comprehensive teams of business, engineering and design students, the businesses spinning out of UB will make a significant economic and societal impact,” said Mike Roer, who organized the Business Plan Competition and serves as an entrepreneur in residence at the SEC.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu