Student Spotlight

Iva Porfirova

Communication Studies major
Hometown/Country: Sofia, Bulgaria


Iva, a finalist in the CUNY SmartPitch competition through the CUNY Startups Accelerator, is also a student entrepreneur who is participating in other competitions to enhance her skills as she prepares to continue her higher education and ultimately start her career.

Why did you decide to attend BMCC and how has BMCC helped you in preparing you for the CUNY Startup Program/competition?

I enrolled in BMCC with the idea to improve my English and essay writing skills so I could take the next step to earning my bachelor’s degree in the United States. First, I heard about CUNY Startups from Thierry Thesatus Senior Career Advisor at the Center for Career Development. He advised me to reach out to CUNY Startup Smartpitch program after I shared my interested in entrepreneurship with him. I am grateful to my Communication Studies teachers for requiring presentations in their classes because I was able to smoothly transition from presenting an informative and persuasive speech to pitching a business idea in front of jury and potential investors in the future.

What is your business idea (what did you present for the CUNY StartUp Competition?)

I participated in three of the CUNY Startups programs this semester- Accelerator, SmartPitch, and Hackathon. In SmartPitch our team of four students was announced in top 3 finalists for designing and presenting Saivor- a food delivery application with implemented proprietary machine learning algorithms, offering personal recommendations and social features. (Prototype available here )

For the past four months in the Accelerator program my co-founder from LaGuardia CC Robert Michael Jones and I, have been developing BrewSpice- a unique blend of spices bringing the taste and benefits of beer to any dish.

During the Hackathon I partnered with four other BMCC students – Tamin Mansoori, Viktoriya Sosa, Clara Fairbanks, and Kayla Golder in creating and presenting an augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) game called DinoRun.

What BMCC programs do you currently participate in?

At BMCC I am a former President of the Communication Studies Club and member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

What will you do next, after you graduate or transfer from BMCC?

I am transferring to NYU Steinhardt in the Fall, majoring in Media, Culture and Communication through the CCTOP Program available to BMCC students. Apart of exploring my passion for entrepreneurship, I’m aspired to pursue a career in the United Nations or other organization dedicated to humanitarian causes in which I could use my voice and apply the skills I’ve developed at BMCC to advocate for social issues on a local and global scale.

What advice do you have for other students?

Strive to make informed decisions and utilize the maximum of what they have access to. BMCC offers abundant opportunities and services which four-year colleges’ students could only dream about such as the services available at the Writing Center, the Counseling Center, the Scholarship Office, and many more.

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