UNITEC México and Instituto Profesional AIEP Teams Win 2014 Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition

Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC) undergraduate students Sergio Eduardo Arellano and Yessica Lopez Coyotzi, with their project Tope and Instituto Profesional AIEP student Manuel Francisco Parra, with his project Straw Bales, are the winners of their respective categories in the 2014 Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition. Each team will receive a $50,000 low-interest loan to fund the businesses outlined in their plans and presentations. The finalist teams who participated in the five-day event, held concurrently with the annual Laureate Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. included:

Undergraduate Finalists: 

BiTS (Germany) 

  • Project: SnackBackApp 
  • Student team: Lisa Jasper and Marcello Gildemeister 
  • Faculty mentor: Axel Wullenkord 

Pearl Academy (India) 

  • Project: Zwina Custom Boutique 
  • Student team: Tavleen Kaur 
  • Faculty mentor: Shazia Amanat 

Universidad Tecnológica de México 

  • Project: Tope 
  • Student team: Sergio Eduardo Arellano and Yessica Lopez Coyotzi 
  • Faculty mentor: Edgar Lopez Garcia 

Graduate Finalists: 

Instituto Profesional AIEP 

  • Project: Straw Bales 
  • Student team: Manuel Francisco Parra 
  • Faculty mentors: Marcelo Eugenio Lucero and Andres Durán. 


  • Project: Senior Gym and Club 
  • Student team: Jorge Antonio Corvalán and Luis Alberto Reyes 
  • Faculty mentor: Jorge Osvaldo Morales 

Les Roches 

  • Project: Student Inloco 
  • Student team: Udit Agarwal and Freya Gazder  
  • Faculty mentor: Paul Hodgson 

Forty-one teams submitted their top business plans for the undergraduate and graduate/working adult categories. An internal selection committee of Laureate faculty and executives evaluated plans and chose three finalist teams per category to attend the in-person interviews and activities. 

During the five day competition in Washington, student teams presented their business ideas to each other; attended a workshop on presentation skills organized by Miguel Lardizabal from the Laureate Network Products and Services group; received three days of coaching and feedback with Pete Pinheiro, Kristen Keener, and Marco Ibanez; and presented their plans in a formal interview with an external selection committee comprised of the following individuals:

  • James H. McGuire, former board member, Laureate Education, Inc. 
  • Todd Benson, former board member, Laureate Education, Inc 
  • Renata Chilvarquer, Director, Endeavor Brazil 
  • J. Adrian Villa, General Director, Ekologi (Winning Team of the 2012 Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition) 

The Global James McGuire Business Competition was launched in 2007 by Douglas L. Becker, founder, chairman and chief executive officer 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.