April 27, 2018
Eagle Innovation hosted its final round of APPCOM, an application competition, on Saturday, April 14 in the University of Southern Indiana Griffin Center. Teams who advanced to the finals included Adder Mobile, Adventure Field Guides, Borsa Finance, Brainwaves and Emerg-e-Plan.
During the final round, each team completed a five-minute pitch followed by a 15-minute question and answer from a panel of judges: Dan Cundiff, Target; Eric Steele, Elevate Ventures; and Kim Howard, Southwest ISBDC.
Following the pitches, the judges deliberated to select Emerg-e-Plan as the second-place winner and Borsa Finance as the first-place winner. Borsa Finance is a platform which consolidates earnings calls for publicly traded companies to ease the burden of hunting down this important tool for investors.
Ashraf Faiq, freshman computer science major, was the USI student representative on the team. Faiq knew the proprietor of the app, Hadi Yousef, for over a decade and with mutual interest in technology, both men were happy to be a team.
“Our focus was to deliver a clean and polished pitch”, said Faiq. “We wanted to articulate a clear pain in the market and portray our ideas of a solution as clear as day.”
Knowing how important earnings calls are for investors and how much the $20,000 in cash and prizes would help get their platform started, Faiq was willing to go the extra mile.
“My favorite part of the whole experience was getting to work together with my friend Hadi”, Faiq said. “Up until APPCOM, we’ve been close friends, but with our participation in the event, I feel as though we are on a new level with each other. He and I had the goal to win and our desires to do so are what really made the experience one of a kind.”
Not only was this experience enjoyable for Faiq working with his friend, but a great learning experience, which jump started his first year in college.
“For one, I learned how to write and execute a solid pitch”, Faiq said. “Another thing I got out of it was that practice is something I need to implement a lot more in my life. I took a CAP course at Castle High School for public speaking and the outlines we did and the way we presented in that course translated similarly in the execution of our pitch.”
Knowing how important this experience was and how much he learned from it, Faiq plans to put this on his resume, which will give him an edge against other potential employees in the future.
“I would 1,000 percent recommend APPCOM to anyone who has an app idea and wants to make it happen,” Faiq said. “It feels like Shark Tank but in real life and I felt as though Borsa Finance made a deal with a tech guru like Mark Cuban and now we are on our way to success!”
By Delaney Somers, USI Opportunity Development communications intern
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