Winners Announced for Johnson & Wales University’s 4th Annual “SharkFest” Competition

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Johnson & Wales University’s (JWU) 4th Annual “SharkFest” student entrepreneurship competition was held Thursday, April 2 at Schneider Auditorium.

Johnson & Wales University’s (JWU) 4th Annual “SharkFest” student entrepreneurship competition was held Thursday, April 2 at Schneider Auditorium. The winners and their products are as follows:

First place: Blake Mitkoff, a culinary arts and food service management major from the Charlotte Campus. His winning idea is “ChefBook,” an online service for clients and homeowners who need chefs for private or temporary on-site work.

Second place: Matt Tortora, a food service and entrepreneurship major from the Providence Campus who created “WhatsGood,” an online service and virtual marketplace to tie in purveyors’ needs to one customized network.

Third place: Abdiel Elou and Colby Fraser, engineering majors from the Providence Campus. They created “The Buddy System,” a customized bracelet that syncs to a Smart phone to contact friends, family members or authorities in times of distress.

The People's Choice Award (voted on by audience members): Luis Rivera and Becky Giambarresi, culinary nutrition majors from the Providence Campus for “The Hippothecary Food Pharmacy.” It is a fully functional pharmacy that designs research-based food products for people with certain ailments or conditions.

Twelve finalists were chosen for the competition, which included one from each of the other JWU campuses (Charlotte, N. Miami and Denver), as well as alumni. The three highest ranking finalists receive, in order, a stipend for $2500; $1500; and $1000. They are also given office space in the Entrepreneurship Center, mentoring by an industry professional, and assistance from the staff at the Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship. The “People’s Choice” winner receives a stipend of $500 along with mentoring by an industry professional and assistance from the Center.

Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 16,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, R.I.; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, education, nutrition, hospitality, physician assistant studies, engineering and design. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal growth. The university’s impact is global, with alumni from 119 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Madeline Parmenter, 401-598-2752; Cell: 263-5101; Email: madeline(dot)parmenter(at)jwu(dot)edu

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Johnson & Wales University
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