Alvernia’s O’Pake Institute places three finalists in business plan competition


Braeden Ruth, high school senior Governor Mifflin School District, and Michelle Conway with the third place High School Business Plan trophy for his work with entrepreneurial venture BR Vending. 


“I learned grit, the importance of feedback, and how to pivot,” said Somori. “All the hard work paid off. To me, it was very validating to know that we are past the idea stage, and the industry experts who served as judges for the competitions agreed with us.” 


Somori worked with MBA Candidate and O’Pake Institute Graduate Assistant of Startup Ventures and Investments Jack Short throughout the process of the competition with her business, Emivero. Evimero is a startup technology company aiming to aid universities, students, and all users in retention and engagement. The time-management and student engagement app works to retain current students and recruit non-traditional students.  


Competitors are responsible for deliverables in four areas including an executive summary, competitor analysis, proforma financials and a pitch deck which they presented on April 18. Industry expert judges then evaluate the presentations ahead of the awards ceremony on May 2 at the F.M. Kirby Center for Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 


“Being a finalist in the TecBRIDGE business plan competition has provided me a plethora of experiential learning,” said Short. “I had a great opportunity to develop a financial model for our start-up company, present to a great group of judges, and showcase Evimero to the world which TecBRIDGE provided to us the opportunity to do.” 


Short serves as the chief financial officer of Evimero. In his role, he creates financial projections, cash flow statements, profit and loss statements, manages budgeting and oversees many day-to-day operations alongside Somori. 


“Preparing to compete in the TecBRIDGE Business Plan Competition is a rigorous process, but Tobi and Jack embraced the challenge,” said O’Pake Institute Executive Director of Student and Client Services, Michelle Conway, MBA. “They diligently developed a comprehensive business plan, pitch deck, financial projections, and competitive analysis. They also attended help sessions with tecBRIDGE’s professional service provider network and invested countless hours perfecting Evimero’s wireframe—all while balancing full-time studies and part-time jobs. Tobi and Jack truly embody the entrepreneurial spirit and the commitment of having ‘skin in the game.’”  


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