By: Sara Douglass – News Editor
Two students will be headed to Princeton for a statewide contest after winning a competition at William Paterson that encourages entrepreneurship among students.
Anthony Ferraiolo and Brian Potoczak are the creators of Brainify, a mobile learning app. The app allows users to choose a certain subject, such as math or history and then receive pop-up questions throughout the day. According to Ferraiolo and Potoczak, students can quiz their friends, set goals and track their progress all while gaining about 30 minutes of extra learning a day.
“Brian and I came up with the idea because we needed help studying for an exam, but our lives are so busy with work and school,” Ferraiolo said. “We would send each other questions based on accounting topics to increase our frequency of viewing the material.”
The Business Concept Competition was open to all undergraduate and graduate students of any major. All finalists presented an outline of their business plan, which included a description of the product or service, cash flow and break-even points, marketing and advertising strategies and target markets.
Ferraiolo and Potoczak won the top prize of $1,500. Other finalists included second place winner Luke Getto for his Designed Better Business, which featured a line of interactive smart toys for children and Michael Bussanich, who came in third place for his business Third Arm Co., which is a bracing device for plumbers.
“Brian and I are targeting younger students in more urban areas,” Ferraiolo said. “We hope to build upon the education they already get and create a stronger education in places with weaker school systems.
Judges for the finalist round of the event included owners and business managers such as Carl Ohlsson, the executive vice president and chief development officer of Wyndham Hotel Group and owner of Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Urban Fire.
The creators of Brainify will compete at UPitchNJ on April 28 and represent WPU alongside 13 other New Jersey colleges. According to event coordinators, UPitchNJ is in place to provide entrepreneurial students with a networking forum with other students, mentors and potential investors.
“Neither Brian or myself are app developers but we both wish to learn more about how to do so,” Ferraiolo said. “We will use the prize money to help us improve our pitch for Princeton and hopefully win there.”