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Student business owners win big at e-Fest

Johnny Fayad and Ali Kothari, both DMSB’17, recently came in second place at e-Fest, the largest undergraduate entrepreneurship competition, for their business Eat Your Coffee. The co-founders were awarded $50,000 cash, in addition to a $5,000 award for D’Amore-McKim’s entrepreneurship programs.


April 26, 2017

Johnny Fayad and Ali Kothari, DMSB'17, won $50,000 at  the recent e-Fest undergraduate entrepreneurship competition.


Eat Your Coffee co-founders Johnny Fayad and Ali Kothari, both DMSB’17, were recently awarded second place in the recent e-Fest undergraduate entrepreneurship competition, winning $50,000 to put toward their business.

Eat Your Coffee is a natural energy bar infused with a full cup of fair trade coffee, perfect for on-the-go students and working professionals.

e-Fest, the largest undergraduate-only business plan competition based on cash awards, was held April 6 - 8 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 25 finalist teams were chosen from a pool of 160 teams from 81 schools and flown to Minneapolis. Students were judged on their seven-minute long video submission and presentation describing their business concept.

In addition to Fayad and Kothari winning second place and a $50,000 cash prize, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business was also awarded $5,000 to support entrepreneurship programs. 

“Johnny and Ali exemplify all that Northeastern University hopes to inspire regarding entrepreneurship. And now, with the support of EIX.org, they will be inspiring other undergraduate students from across the country who hope to launch their own businesses,” said Kimberly Eddleston, D’Amore-McKim School of Business professor of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Eddleston, an editor of EIX.com, helped organize the event and led a workshop on her small business consulting project class.

“I showcased the small business consulting project class that I launched at D’Amore-McKim. Since I began teaching the course, our students have helped more than 150 small businesses, and have saved several from bankruptcy,” she said.

During the competition, the student teams participated in several workshops to cultivate and improve their business ideas.

e-Fest is co-sponsored by the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and EIX.org, an online learning platform. Keynote speakers at the conference included Richard Schulze, founder of Best Buy and Daymond John of Shark Tank.