Win the business pitch contest
Boca Raton, FL – A Florida Atlantic University management major who wants to start a business that offers healthy restaurant-quality meals from a vending machine has won the top prize of $10,000 at the 14th edition of the Business Pitch competition organized by FAU’s College of Business and the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship.
Brandon Feinstein’s Fit Oven would deliver meals from custom-built vending machines that chill, heat and dispense food to the consumer in 90 seconds or less.
Feinstein graduated in May from FAU, but the idea for the business began in 2018 when he was a student at Florida State University. Living in a campus dorm with no access to a car, he had to whet his appetite late at night with sodas, candies and chips from the dorm’s vending machines.
“I was over 325 pounds and my eating habits were terrible,” Feinstein, now 24, said. “With all this technology we have, I’ve always wondered, ‘Why are these vending machines obsolete? “”
Feinstein then returned home to Boca Raton and enrolled in FAU, where he developed his idea of balanced meals on the go.
He said he would use the prize money to build his business, working to put vending machines in airports and universities. He hopes to launch the first vending machine within three to six months, and eventually he wants to franchise the business.
Fit Oven was one of 44 entries in FAU’s annual pitch competition which rewards budding entrepreneurs for their business ventures. Due to the pandemic, this was the first year since 2019 that the entire competition was held in person.
John Thomerson finished in second place and won $5,000 for Pet HealthCare Innovations, a company that makes devices for dogs with reduced mobility.
Third place and $2,500 went to SoFlo Cycles, a company created by Jack Wachter to supply motorcycles to riders in Florida and the Southeastern United States.
Feinsten and Thomerson, both mentored by Adams Center Deputy Director Kevin Cox, Ph.D., will represent FAU at e-Fest, a national business competition this week in Minneapolis.
“I was impressed with the number and quality of applications this year,” said Roland Kidwell, Ph.D., director of the Adams Center. “It also resonated with the judges. They can definitely see a lot of starters turn into successful businesses.
The $1,500 winner of the FAU Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program business competition was August Davis. He was the recipient of the Eric H. Shaw Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for On French, a meal preparation and delivery service. Andrea Smith won $1,000 for finishing second with GG by Amara, a company providing personal care products.
Davis and Smith become the FAU representatives for the statewide pitch competition June 17-18 at the Veterans Florida Virtual Expo in Orlando. Veterans Florida is a nonprofit agency created by the state to help military veterans transition to civilian life and promote Florida’s status as the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. For more information, visit Veteransflorida.org.
The Business Pitch competition is part of FAU’s innovation and business development.
Adams Center for Entrepreneurship:
The Adams Center for Entrepreneurship at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Business brings together students, faculty, and the community to fuel the innovation needed to create new business opportunities in the ever-changing global marketplace. The mission is to create and educate entrepreneurial leaders who will find lasting solutions to economic and social problems. The Adams Center is named in recognition of FAU graduate and entrepreneur Scott H. Adams.
Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened in 1964 as Florida’s fifth public university. Today, the University enrolls more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at six campuses located along Florida’s southeast coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and surpassed its peers in student success rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps disappear. FAU is designated as a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked among the top public universities by U.S. News & World Report, and as a high-research institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.