2007-05-04 / Community

Gaafar Wins Business Plan Competition

Quinnipiac University graduate student and Rockaway resident Robert Gaafar placed first in the graduate level new personal business division at the 2007 Business Plan Competition for Connecticut Universities. This is the fourth straight year Quinnipiac students have placed first at the competition.

Finalists delivered a four-minute PowerPoint presentation on April 20 at the New Haven Lawn Club in Connecticut, and answered questions from judges. Gaafar received a $1,000 unrestricted grant and an exhibit opportunity at a Connecticut Venture Group meeting.

Gaafar won for MediBudi, a social online community that connects survivors, family and friends affected by an illness, disorder or injury. The site will allow visitors to create profiles, share experiences and send messages. Gaafar thought of the idea when a family member was diagnosed with a rare illness and had trouble finding information about it online or connecting with people who have the same illness.

The website will target women. "Women are more prone to go online for support, Gaafar said. "They value the Internet for the way it can enrich relationships. People are no longer identified by where they are from. Now, we are identified by our interests and struggles. That's why social networks have become so popular."

Gaafar earned a bachelor's degree in finance, and entrepreneurship and small business management from Quinnipiac in 2005. He will graduate with a master's degree in business administration at the university this May.

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