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Moravian Academy 10th graders refine new business plan for credit card security app after Lehigh Valley LaunchBox StartUp Bootcamp

In February, Okezue Bell’s team placed sixth out of 90 plus teams across Pennsylvania in the annual DECA high school competition in the independent business category with a plan for a graphic design business using AI creativity. Bell, with his team member and classmate Wisdom Ufondu, is aiming higher for next year’s DECA competition and decided that Lehigh Valley Launchbox’s StartUp Bootcamp could help them fine tune their new business plan.

As they were brainstorming ideas for their next new business idea, they realized that both of their mothers were having a problem with credit card fraud. Developing a solution to address credit card fraud turned into the plan for Fidutam, a credit card security shield that uses a comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) system to detect fraud or hacking instances and mitigate their effects or stop them altogether. With the Fidutam app, the user’s credit card information will reside on a secure network and the user will scan the app to pay. If credit cards in the app are hacked, the user will be alerted immediately.

Bell, a 10th grader at Moravian Academy, initially contacted a Silicon Valley catalyst for new businesses and then decided to search for start-up support closer to home. Through another student from Moravian Academy, Bell heard about LaunchBox. He visited the website and found out about the upcoming Bootcamp. From there, everything fell into place. Bell attended all six of the weekly sessions plus an individual practice pitch coaching session. He said help with his pitch inspired him to reach out to larger businesses and form relationships to build interest in their app. Bell and his partner Ufondu plan to launch their app by the end of the school year and work on building revenue streams over the summer.

“Lehigh Valley LaunchBox’s StartUp Bootcamp is a must for anyone with a scalable business idea. It turned out to be really, really cool. Mentors and experts challenged us, shared knowledge, answered questions and gave us the leverage that we needed. For me, it was like getting an MBA in six weeks. We changed our business plan based on what we learned,” Bell said.

Bell is planning to apply for the 2nd Annual StartUp Lehigh Valley Virtual Pitch Competition hosted by Factory, LLC on November 18 where Lehigh Valley LaunchBox will be awarding $10,000 in grants.