Students Compete in TCU Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition

Students from Syracuse University‘s Martin J. Whitman School of Management participated in the 2018 TCU Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. The competition requires students to pitch a for-profit business idea that benefits the community, environment or a specific population with the opportunity to win up to $70,000 in cash prizes to fund their ideas. This is the eighth year of the competition and a record number of universities competed, including schools from other countries, such as Bangladesh and Scotland.

Refjola Malushi, a finance and accounting major with a minor in global political economy, Nicole Kibler, retail and supply chain major, William De La Vera, EEE and finance major, and Daniel Fridliand, EEE and marketing major, represented the Whitman School with their product, Taste Buddy. Taste Buddy is a natural supplement that aims to improve sensitivity to taste and overall quality of life for those affected by loss of taste and smell. The supplement is delivered in the form of a tongue strip utilizing oral thin film technology, allowing for direct contact with the tongue and faster absorption of nutrients. Taste Buddy placed second behind the eventual competition winners in the first round of the competition and advanced to a lightning round to compete for a place in the finals, ultimately finishing as one of the top 14 teams.

“The international competition opened my eyes to the incredible possibilities available when one combines their passion for doing good in the world and their passion for business together,” said Malushi.

“I am thankful for the Whitman faculty who saw potential in us and mentored us throughout the year to bring our idea to life,” added Kibler.

Natalie Rudakevych