Two Start-ups Take Top Honors in B-plan Competition

Posted On April 8, 2013
Categories The Pulse, Top Stories
Renelyn Monteloyo of Ad-On Advertising explained the prototypes the company could offer its customers.

Renelyn Monteloyo of Ad-On Advertising explained the prototypes the company could offer its customers.

A team’s proposal to fix what it characterized as “an inherently flawed produce supply chain” beat out a large field of contenders to win the 2012 Herman J. Russell, Sr. Center for International Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition.

Brian Chew, Emily Archer and Nizar Bhamani pitched Second Story Gardens. The company slogan, “Bring the farm to the market,” describes its business model. Second Story Gardens would optimize wasted space in urban areas by building and operating sustainable hydroponic greenhouses near grocery stores, thus slashing transportation and fuel costs associated with traditional farming.

The four-person team behind Ad-On Advertising – Eric Ames, Lisa Jackson, Alexandra Jean-Jacques and Renelyn Monteloyola – presented its firm’s plan to sell advertising space on disposable, recyclable cups. The cups would be imprinted with client messages and distributed to local and mid-size businesses for free. Ad-On Advertising was first runner-up in the competition.

Brian Chew and Nizar Bhamani of Second Story Gardens accepted the winning prize of $10,000 from Russell Center Director Robert Gemmell.

Brian Chew and Nizar Bhamani of Second Story Gardens accepted the winning prize of $10,000 from Russell Center Director Robert Gemmell.

Second Story Gardens won $10,000 and received $8,000 in legal, accounting and brand management services, plus co-working space provided by the competition’s sponsors. Ad-On Advertising received $1,000 in co-working space.

The members of both teams had further reason to celebrate. All seven graduated from the Professional MBA program in December.