40 teams competing in this week’s RvD iPrize, Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards and regionals for New York State Business Plan

Student teams at iPrize
Previous RvD iPrize and Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award winners

The School of Information Studies (iSchool) and the Blackstone LaunchPad are hosting 40 teams in Bird Library this Friday, March 25 for the Raymond von Dran (RvD) iPrize pitch competition, Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award and the regional qualifier for the New York State Business Plan Competition. The concurrent competitions will feature $50,000 in prizes ($40,000 for winners of the RvD iPrize and $10,000 to winners of the Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards) to top performing students. Thedistinguished panel of judges include successful Syracuse University alumni entrepreneurs as well as other business and civic leaders.

The RvD Fund is named after former iSchool dean Raymond von Dran, who served from 1995 until his passing in 2007. Von Dran was a longtime academic entrepreneur and staunch supporter of student innovation. He started several innovative programs in higher education. To honor his memory and ensure that her husband’s infectious spirit for innovation continued, his wife Gisela generously created the RvD Fund. The Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are funded through a gift to the iSchool from the Hunter Brooks Watson Memorial Fund to celebrate the life of Hunter Brooks Watson. Watson was a Syracuse student studying information management at the iSchool who tragically lost his life as a passenger in a distracted driver automobile accident in 2016. The awards recognize students who have passionate interests in areas comparable to those that motivated Watson but may not have the financial means to bring their ideas to life.

The 40 teams come from across campus, representing multiple academic units. The include:

Life Sciences, Health and Wellbeing, Food:

  • Anthony Mazzacane, Paul Franco, Zach Stahl,  HydroHealth
  • Bearett Tarris,  Natural Gait
  • Brian Burton, Umani
  • Justin Monaco, Bruno Gonzalez-Hauger, Illumenar
  • Matthew Castagnozzi,  Psych-Tek
  • Natasha Lauren Brao,  Holy Egg
  • Sajjad Albadri, Sajjad Alhashami,  QPuff
  • Selim Dangoor,  Munch Jerky

Social Impact and Sustainability:

  • Claire Chevalier,  Can Make Compost
  • Elizabeth Goldblatt,  Drake Riley  
  • Jared Anderson, The Emergency Preparedness Project
  • Kelly Davis, Wo-manly
  • Samantha Ching,  CoHabit
  • Simran Lakhani,  Sense A
  • Yuki Jiang,  Color Rush

Creative and Digital Media Ventures:

  • Amanda Smith,  SusBots
  • Brandon Henry,  Beyond the Box
  • Jack Rose,  Bladepoint Media
  • Kellan Godfrey, Remote Start
  • Zach Katz, Indie Watch
  • Zebedayo Masongo, The Grnwood

Consumer Products and Services:

  • Ben Delmarsh,  Here’s My Life
  • Damaris “Koi” Munyua, Slay-Stainable
  • Justin Diaz,  Eco Bamboo
  • Kai Patricio,  u-cycl
  • Kaifeng Chen, Luo Bei, Daniel Lim, Reality
  • Mohammed Ali,  Urban Coders
  • Noah Mechnig-Giordano,  Happy Loose Leaf Tea
  • Shaming Ma,  Douyou Delivery

Software and Technology:

  • Aidan Mickleburgh,  Abridgd
  • Alexander Rolinski, Sice-Me
  • Catherine Forrest, Secwins
  • Fabio Xie,  C!ub App
  • Gabe Ruoff, Zephyr-Pay
  • Hafiz Awais Afzal, Rahnumai
  • Justin Gluska,  Bus Point
  • Lexi Cianfrani, Club Match
  • Travis Ghirdarie, Many Hands
  • Xuhong Fang, Learn Z
  • Ze Zeng,  Paymenta