Hunter Grads' Business Proposal Wins Entrepreneurial Award
Hunter College alumni Andres Otero (left) and Elvis Maynard (right) with team member, Leydy Otero, wife of Andres.
First prize of the Baruch College Invitational Entrepreneurship Competition was awarded to a team that includes two Hunter College recent graduates – Elvis Maynard (’11) a double major in Film and Media Studies and Studio Art and Andres Otero (’11), a Media Studies major. As winner of the first prize in the social entrepreneurship category, the team was awarded a $10,000 cash prize and will be given another $40,000 in seed money as they continue to meet the competition's criteria and launch their business, Speech Multimedia, which promotes and facilitates educational programs for Spanish-speaking children with speech challenges.
Said Otero, “As a student at Hunter I was part of different classes that challenged me to think about what could I do to benefit society.” Otero first began working on the idea during his senior seminar with the help of his wife, a speech pathologist. Along with Maynard, they are currently expanding the business to include different functionality such as videos, an interactive web tool, and a mechanism for tracking children’s progress. They hope to eventually bring the business to Latin America and even to speakers of other languages.
The Baruch College Invitational Entrepreneurship Competition is an annual, two-semester long team learning experience that provides New York City college students with the opportunity and the resources to create viable and innovative business ventures. This year, over 80 concept papers were submitted in one of two tracks - traditional entrepreneurship with a focus on earning profits or social entrepreneurship which provides social benefit. If the business concept is approved to continue, the team works with business professionals, seasoned entrepreneurs, and faculty to develop it into a full-fledged business. Prizes and awards are decided based on project viability and readiness to launch.