Congratulations to 2013 Hospitality Business Plan Finalists

The Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship congratulates all five student groups who presented their concepts in the 2013 Hospitality Business Plan Competition last weekend during HEC. The top prize of $15,000 was awarded to the Agora Hellenic Grill concept, developed by Martin Andonov ’13, and the runner up, with a $5,000 award, was Voilà Mobile Crêperie, proposed by Michael Perlman ’13, Ethan Joseph ’13, & Tareq Ali ’13. Third place and $2,500 went to Spencer Stein ’13, who developed the Solace concept. The Stein Family Prize of $5,000 went to Robert Frisch (MBA ’13) and Tara Lobo ’15, for their environmentally conscious idea of Cairn Tented Resorts. SakuraTerra Hospitality earned honorable mention for Satoko Nagahara (MMH ’13), Christopher O’Donnell ’13, Zhuodan Huang (MMH ’13), and Blake Golom (MMH ’13).

The five finalists were chosen from an initial field of 30 proposals. Agora Hellenic Grill offers fast-casual Mediterranean-style food, Voilà serves its crepes from a hot truck, and Solace is an in-room package for pain alleviation. Cairn’s mobile upscale tent concept met the Stein Prize goal of environmental sensitivity. Sakura Terra proposed a Japanese ryokan and spa concept intended to bring international culture to the U.S.

Two sets of judges and a generous set of sponsors were instrumental in making the 2013 Hospitality Business Plan Competition a success. In the semi-final round, the following panel of judges chose the five finalists from ten semi-final concepts: Moby Ahmed; Nick Bayer, Saxbys Coffee; Kenny Blatt ’81, Caribbean Property Group; Larry Hall, PAR Springer-Miller; Ken Hamlet ’66, Crestview Partners; Chris Hunsberger ’81, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts; Warren Leeds ’84, Dartcor Management Services; and Mark Lomanno. The judges for the final round were: Chris Hemmeter, Thayer Ventures; Bill Minnock ’79, Marriott International; Sandy Solomon, Sweet Street Desserts; and Jacob Wright, High Peaks Hospitality. Sincere thanks to all judges for working with our student entrepreneurs.

Sponsors for the 2013 competition were Marriott International, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the Sun family, and the Stein Family. The competition would not have been possible without their support.