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UNIFACS Students Win 2011 Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition


2011 McGuire Business Competition

Rafael Guimarães and Vinícius de Carvalho Cal, Mechatronic Engineering students from Universidade Salvador - UNIFACS, recently were recognized as the winning team of the 2011 Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition at the annual Laureate Leadership Summit. Their plan, LSC Guindastes, seeks to develop technology to improve safety in tower crane construction. LSC Guindastes is the first team from Brazil to rank among the top five finalists and to win the competition. The other four finalist teams in this year's competition, lauded by internal and external selection committees alike for their business plans and presentations, include:

  • Colour Company GmbH (Business and Information Technology School): Colour Company offers premium color finishing for electronic products. Team members include Carolin Broda, Stefan Kaatz, Sabrina Goebel, Anja Hawellek, and Maria Roettgers. Their coach is Professor Axel Wullenkord.
  • Easy Heat (Universidad Peruana del Norte): Easy Heat seeks to develop an affordable, energy efficient device to heat water. Team members include Mayra Paulet Salazar Lezama, Lucía Alejandra Martos Reaño, and Marcia Alejandra Terrones Lara. Professor Oscar Mendoza is their coach.
  • Pantaü (Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana): Pantaü plans to open a restaurant that offers traditional Honduran cuisine in an elegant setting. Team members include María José Agüero Lara, Cecilia María Fortín Hesse, Celeste Aída Ponce Morales, Marvin Alexis Flores Hernández, and José Alfredo Sosa Sosa. Their coach is Professor René Gamero.
  • Sweet Motion (Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas): Sweet Motion is a mobile dessert shop. Team members include Fátima Lourdes Marín Reyes, Juan Manuel Torres Loayza, Fabiola Borja Lagos, Angie Leen Cabel Albújar, Daniela Pérez-Luna Rojas, Claudia Vanessa Poémape Segura, Gabriela Carolina Quintanilla Cárdenas, Claudia Trillo Murrieta, and Valeria Marcela Ugaz Montero. Dean Andrés Velarde is their coach.

Student teams from 19 network institutions submitted more than 200 business plans for the second edition of the global contest held this year. An internal selection committee of Laureate executives evaluated plans from outside of their geographic regions and chose the five finalist teams. Executives who participated on the internal selection committee include: Andrés Velarde, Business School Dean, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas; Paolo Borsani, Marketing Director, Laureate Central America; Dieter Holtz, CEO, Universidad del Valle de México; Begumhan Ozdincer, Assistant Finance Professor, Istanbul Bilgi University; Jacqueline Lopes, Marketing Director, Universidade Anhembi Morumbi; and Jacqueline So, VP of Business Development, Laureate Asia.

An external selection committee received and provided initial feedback on the five finalist business plans and conducted in-person interviews of the team members. Participating members include James H. McGuire, entrepreneur and former Laureate Education, Inc. Board member; Amanda Bullough, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Thunderbird; Francisco García Calderón, CEO, EuroMotors; Gregory Mann, Strategist and Consultant; and Juliano Seabra, Director, Endeavor, Brazil.

The Global James McGuire Business Competition was announced in 2007 by Douglas L. Becker, Chairman and CEO of Laureate Education, Inc. to honor Mr. James H. McGuire, a former member of Laureate's Board of Directors, and to foster entrepreneurship among students. Each year, the winning team receives a low interest loan of $100,000 to launch the enterprise described in its business plan. The global competition builds on the successful pilot program conducted in the Andean Region in 2008. Last year, in the first global edition of the contest, student groups representing 17 Laureate institutions submitted more than 150 business plans.

A special thanks to university-based contest leaders, their internal and external selection committees, and the organizer of the Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition, Katherine Zuga, Community Outreach Manager, for the time and commitment to this very important award. For more information, please contact Katherine Zuga, Community Outreach Manager, at