LMU Entrepreneurs Win $25,000 in Texas Business Competition
A team from Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business Administration clinched the top spot and a $25,000 prize in Texas Christian University’s annual business ethics competition for students around the world.
Franky Bernstein and Gabriel Borden, LMU seniors and partners in the start-up company InterWallet, competed against 46 schools in TCU’s Values and Ventures Competition on April 8-9 in Fort Worth, Texas. The contest, presented by TCU’s Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, challenges students to pitch plans for businesses, products or services that make a profit while benefitting the environment, the community or a specific population.
More recently, Franky competed at Chapman University's California Dreamin' event for aspiring entrepreneurs and came in first place in the business narrative competition. The goals of the business narrative competition are to allow participants the opportunity to distill the essence of their business down to a single one-line mantra, and then tell a story that encapsulates the mantra in a way that emotionally connects with the judges.
“InterWallet is a real business with the potential to be highly profitable and help some of the poorest people in our economy at the same time,” said Professor David Choi, director of LMU’s Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship. “It is a great business that solves a significant problem in our society.”
Bernstein and Borden developed InterWallet as a banking alternative for those underserved by financial institutions and without checking accounts and credit cards. It’s expensive to be poor, Bernstein has explained, because buying money orders, transferring funds and using check-cashing businesses comes with a steep price.
InterWallet’s financial services app can do all of that and for a smaller fee, allowing customers to access a cloud-based platform to pay bills and transfer and accept money at kiosks resembling ATM machines.