With the Support of MDC, Winners Receive Thousands in Startup Money A Startup Challenge semi-finalist and a Miami Dade College alumnus were both recipients of thousands of dollars in prizes as winners of the American Entrepreneurship Award (AEA), a program and competition that awards seed funding to support new business ventures in Miami-Dade County and the Bronx, New York City. Leyanis Díaz, the founder of Major Marketplace, an online platform for minority-owned small businesses, was one of five winners in Miami-Dade County. Díaz, a semi-finalist at The Idea Center’s 2017 Startup Challenge, was awarded $25,000 in business startup capital for her venture. Recent MDC graduate Christian Andressen was the winner of the competition’s student track, receiving $5,000 to support the development of Umbrellas App. The hyperlocal platform is an advice-sharing service; users input a question or problem and then choose where their posts can be viewed. “The next time you travel you can go into Umbrellas App and ask the locals about anything, knowing you are only speaking with people from that region and that you are always receiving meaningful advice,” said Andressen, who graduated from MDC in 2017. In addition to the monetary prize sponsored by the Libra Group, AEA provides the winners with mentorship and business support services. Andressen said he will use his AEA winnings to fund a marketing campaign and make the app available for Android users. The app is currently available on the iTunes store. While there’s still a long road ahead, Andressen said his AEA winnings bolstered his confidence and encouraged him to keep building his business.
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