33 SU graduates join Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad Founders Circle

Founders Circle 2023 members Natasha Brao ’22, G’23 (Whitman) and Kelly Davis ’23 (Whitman)

Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad welcomed 33 graduates as new members of the Founders Circle.  They were selected in recognition of launching or leading ventures at Syracuse University while students, as well as significantly contributing to building the Blackstone LaunchPad since it opened in April 2016.  Founders Circle members serve as alumni role models and mentors for future student entrepreneurs who also exemplify a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Founders Circle Class of 2023 and their ventures include:

  • Jack Adler, 23′ Whitman, Founder of Out2Win
  • Sai Krishna Bolla ’23 School, Founder of Cognition X
  • Raul Chakraborty, ’23 iSchool, Co-Founder of Athletify
  • Season Chowdhury, ’23 Engineering and Computer Science, Co-Founder of Athetify
  • Alexandria Cianfarani, ’23 iSchool, Founder of Clubmatch
  • Bailey Davis, ’23 Newhouse and Maxwell, Founder of Zeal
  • Kelly Davis, ’23 Whitman and Newhouse, Founder of Womanly
  • Benjamin Delmarsh, ’22 VPA, Founder of Afterlife AR
  • Adore Amore Ellis, ’23 VPA, Founder of MadebyAdore
  • Benjamin Ford, ’23 iSchool, Founder of FundWurx
  • Justin Gluska, ’23 Engineering and Computer Science, Founder of BusPoint and the ChatGPT Promptbook
  • Nicholas Graham, ’23 Law and Whitman, LaunchPad Venture Associate
  • Robert Goldblatt, ’23 Whitman, Founder of Tree-Spun
  • Sydnee Grosso, ’23 Falk and Maxwell, LaunchPad Global Fellow
  • Samuel Holland, ’23 Whitman and Newhouse, Innovator in Residence
  • Claire Howard, ’23 Maxwell, LaunchPad Global Fellow
  • Murray Lebovitz, ’23 Whitman, Founder of Keep Coffee Casual
  • Carlos Magdaleno ’23 Newhouse
  • Zebedayo Masongo, ’23 Law, Founder of Grnwood
  • Jordan Pierre, ’23 Newhouse, Founder of Voice
  • Gabriel Ruoff, ’23 Engineering and Computer Science, CTO of Zorse Cyber, Inc.
  • Alexandra Santangelo, ’23 VPA, Launch Star
  • Maya Tsimmer ’23 Newhouse and Whitman, Founder of Bethel Sweet Honey
  • Zachary Stahl ’23 College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Connor Tarpey, ’23 iSchool, Founder of Immersive Media
  • Alesandra Temerte, ’23 A&S, Co-Founder of Pathway Prep

Founders Circle Class of 2023 members who stayed on at Syracuse University this past year to pursue graduate degrees include:

  • Natasha Brao ’22 VPA, G’23 Whitman, Founder of Holy Egg and Natasha Lauren Design
  • Noah Mechnig-Giordano ’22, G’23 Whitman and ECS, Founder of Happy Loose-Leaf Tea
  • Vanessa Lora ’18, G’23 Newhouse, Founder of Vanessa Lora Music
  • Aidan Mickleburgh ’22, G’23 Whitman and ECS, Founder of Intervea
  • Kai Patricio ’23 VPA, Founder of Farm Loop, Co-Founder of Remend and Intellegence++
  • Jack Ramza ’22, G’23 Whitman, Rubin Family Innovation Mentor
  • Rabia Razza ’23 VPA, Founder of Remend

The group was inducted by LaunchPad Founder Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Director Traci Geisler, along with Dean of the SU Libraries David Seaman. Syracuse University Libraries honored our 2022-2023 LaunchPad Senior Staff as part of the SU Libraries Family with additional cords to highlight the important work they do.

“Syracuse University has every right to be proud of these innovative, industrious, and successful young women and men as they go out into the world,” said Dean David Seaman.  “The library has provided them a space in which to work, staff expertise, and a rigorous set of programming to help develop their ideas, and they have created a community of innovation that continues to grow.  We look forward to having them come back to campus as young alumni and staying in touch with us – and each other – through the Founders Circle.”

Dean of SU Libraries David Seaman (left) and Alexandra Cianfarani ’23 iSchool, Founder of Clubmatch (right)

During the program, LaunchPad Global Fellow Claire Howard ’23 (Maxwell) introduced the inaugural Innovator for Change Award in honor of Linda Dickerson Hartsock to recognize one student who have embodied fearlessness and tenacious in their pursuit of change, disruption, or innovation for the greater good. Nominated by peers, join us in congratulating Justin Gulska ’23 (ECS).

“The Class of 2023 Founders Circle joins an elite group of student innovators who have created startup ventures, experiential initiatives, or student organizations. Most have also achieved distinction as academic researchers and scholars.  We are so proud of them and their contributions to building the community that is at the heart of the LaunchPad at SU Libraries and its standing as one of the top performing student innovation hubs in the country.  They have exemplified leadership in every sense of the word and have been equally focused on creating meaningful impact. They are truly global citizens and will continue to be change makers in an entrepreneurial world. They exemplify our value system, and we know that they will continue to pay it forward as mentors to those who follow, inspiring them with their intellect and wisdom, kindness and continued accomplishments,” said Linda Dickerson Hartsock.

Justin Gulska ’23 (left) awarded the inaugural 2023 Innovator for Change Award presented by Claire Howard ’23 (right)

“The LaunchPad during my college years has been a catalyst for creativity, intellectual challenge, and mutually supportive community in my life. Every day I spent in the LaunchPad was a day where I exchanged ideas with brilliant individuals and came away with a sense of fascination for the world around me,” said Claire Howard. “Post-graduation, I’ll be moving to Washington D.C. and working as a Research Analyst for the Department of the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Stability Oversight Council.”

Learn more about the Blackstone LaunchPad and Founders Circle here.