FSC Student Takes Third at Statewide Entrepreneurship Competition

Mar 15, 2023

by FSC Staff

Florida Southern College Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise, along with the Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship hosted the 2023 Roundtable of Entrepreneurship Educators of Florida (REEF) Governor’s Cup the first weekend in March.

The statewide competition brought together nine college- and university-based entrepreneurship centers from across the state to compete in a startup pitch competition for a total of $9,000 in prizes.

Comprised of 18 member organizations and programs, REEF facilitates sharing, creates collaborations, and formulates new ideas that can be implemented in Florida's educational institutions. REEF supports the continued growth of entrepreneurship in the state and provides students the best possible entrepreneurship education and experiences.

“As the new President of REEF, we reframed this event to be more collaborative and supportive of student entrepreneurs,” said Justin Heacock, the Director of the Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Florida Southern. “A big thank you to Catapult Lakeland for welcoming entrepreneurs from across the state and showing them how we support startups in Lakeland. It was a great event, and the group was thoroughly impressed with Catapult and FSC.”

Brooke Lierman Presenting
Brooke Lierman '24 Presenting about OverTheShoulder

Florida Southern junior Brooke Lierman represented FSC and took home $1,500 for third place with her OverTheShoulder alert device for runners.

With the $1,500 Lierman has now won $28,500 toward her startup. Lierman calls OverTheShoulder “The Ring” for runners, as she hopes to keep women runners safe like The Ring home camera system is doing for homeowners.

Lierman is currently working on OverTheShoulder Version 3.0 and has contracted with FYE Labs for product development. The next step is to find a manufacturer and raise more money through a Kickstarter campaign.

See more about Brooke and OverTheShoulder here.

First place ($4,500) was won by the University of Tampa for Red Flags, a user authentication software for dating apps to increase safety for women.

Stetson University took home second place ($3,000) for Nanna’s Kitchen Drawer, a kitchen gadget company that already has a product on the market.

The competition was open to any student or team who was in school during the Fall semester as an undergraduate, with ownership and control of at least 51% of the company. Participant teams were selected by the REEF school and the team provided the judges a short executive summary. Student teams must not have revenue that exceeds $100,000 before the beginning of the competition.

Here is a list of the other schools that competed in the Governor’s Cup and their startup pitches.

  • University of Central Florida: TumYum Menus, a digital picture menu service for restaurants
  • University of Florida: Eufinity Wellness, a mental health and wellness app designed to make mental health care more affordable, anonymous, and accessible
  • Florida Atlantic University: A yet to be named product to provide environment farming research data to indoor farming businesses and space agencies to discover the optimal growth environment for various plant species both on Earth and in space
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: ReadyCloth, a microfiber cloth that fits inside a wallet
  • Florida State University: Nature Link, a company that creates bracelets made from gemstones colored to match ecosystems of endangered animals like sharks, polar bears, sea turtles, and elephants
  • University of Miami: LifeTote, a high-quality tote bag that is designed to cater to everyday needs, while doubling as an emergency level 3a Kevlar vest within seconds