March 09, 2012 by Julia Casciato
A Drexel senior’s “Sunset Decisions LLC” concept, which would refocus senior care toward quality of life, was named the first-place winner of the Laurence A. Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship’s 2012 Concept Paper Competition in a Feb. 24 LeBow College of Business press release.
Donna Kapes is majoring in advanced practiced nursing innovation in intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. She currently works as an emergency department nurse, often seeing that elderly patients have everything done to preserve their lives, even if pre-existing medical conditions make the simplest tasks uncomfortable and invasive.
“I see a growing population of people that, towards the end of their life, [don’t have health care professionals that are] really focused on the quality of life, and I want to change that,” Kapes said.
Sunset Decisions would focus on living wills and the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment program, in addition to educating healthcare professionals and the general public about end-of-life wishes.
The POLST form outlines the end-of-life wishes of a person who is expected to die within a year and is signed by both a physician and a lawyer, making the form legally enforceable. This is a new innovation that ensures a patient’s wishes are honored.
“I find it very frustrating to perform very aggressive treatments on an elderly patient [when] I don’t really know if that is what they want or not,” Kapes said.
Sunset Decisions would implement a system to clarify a person’s end-of-life wishes and guarantee they are fulfilled. With the $1,000 prize money from the competition, Kapes plans to have an informative website up and running by June 1.
The site will educate people on the importance of their end-of-life wishes. While most people create living wills, there is no legal weight to such a document, and they are often used only as guides. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, along with several other states, has implemented the POLST program.
Live seminars will be streamed from the site that will be geared toward both the health care and legal community and will focus on how to address end-of-life wishes. Kapes said that creating a website was the most convenient way and the most affordable option to attract these professionals.
“Baiada is putting research into practice, and I wanted to take this opportunity to participate in their concept competition, as it seemed like a natural fit,” she said.
Chris Bizzarro, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship in LeBow, used the competition as a chance to expand on his idea of a food truck that serves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He and teammate Jenn Geist, who received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Buffalo University, came in second place with their concept titled PB by J.
PB by J would be a food truck that offers a healthy substitute to the standard food truck menu.
“We think this will bring people back to their youth and be a healthy alternative that a lot of people will find useful,” Bizzarro said.
Their menu would consist of various types of butters and jellies along with the option to “Top it Off.” Top it Offs would be toppings for inside the sandwich, giving a twist to the standard sandwich. Some options would be Nutella, pretzels and raisins.
The ideal location for PB by J would be around 33rdand Market streets due to its heavy pedestrian traffic. The possibility of being located right in front of Drexel’s Recreation Center led to the expansion of their menu to include three to five different protein shakes.
“It’s a really smart option to open this right on campus because we would be an inexpensive, healthy alternative while catching everyone going to and from work,” Bizzarro said.
In an effort to differentiate their truck from the similar-looking ones on campus, Bizzarro’s would be designed to resemble a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“One of the best things about PB by J is that it has its own identity,” he said.
Bizzarro and Geist have recently started to prepare for the next competition by creating visually appealing graphs that show how their concept will be a successful business.
Dias Gotama, a pre-junior majoring in information technology, and Abhiroop Das, a pre-junior majoring in information systems, both in the College of Information Science and Technology, created the third-place concept, Chief Event Officer.
Events are advertised on social media sites, the Internet and print media, but there is no centralized location for each event to be listed, Gotama said.
“We wanted to create an app that would help people find events.”
Chief Event Officer is a mobile application that would allow users to find all of the events happening in and around their local area. The application incorporates Google Maps to pinpoint a user’s current location in relation to events happening around them.
Users would sign into the application via Facebook or Twitter accounts, but they have not ruled out adding other social networking sites, such as LinkedIn or Google Plus, in order for the application to be available to as many people as possible.
“We had to think of how we are going to make people buy this [application] and spend money on it,” Gotama said.
The difference between CEO and its competing applications is that it bridges the gap between those looking for events and those hosting them. Hosts would be able to look at who is attending the event, view comments made by users and answer any questions.
“The Baiada Center mentors helped us in the thought process of more than just talking about the application and what it does. At the end of the day, the [Baiada Center] wants to turn you into a startup company,” Das said.
The next step for all of the winners is to develop a business plan for their concept to be entered into March’s Business Plan Competition. The competition is open to all Drexel students, even if they did not participate in the previous competition.