Applications now open for $15,000 Impact Prize

Previous Impact Prize winners

The LaunchPad is accepting applications through November 1 for the Impact Prize, a competition designed to catalyze social entrepreneurship. Open to Syracuse University students, as well as SUNY ESF students taking entrepreneurship classes at Syracuse University, the competition be held at Bird Library on Friday, November 11 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. and will feature $15,000 in prizes.

Students are invited to pitch products, projects, services, or technologies that are practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions to societal problems anywhere around the globe.

Examples include business ideas or projects that address:

  • Arts and culture
  • Community revitalization
  • Disability and accessibility
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Employment and training
  • Energy and climate change
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Food access and nutrition
  • Health and mental health
  • Literacy and education
  • Poverty
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation and mobility
  • Underserved populations
  • Youth leadership and empowerment
  • Other public policy challenges

The Impact Prize is also a gateway to spring competitions like the Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award.

This year’s competition is supported through a $15,000 gift from Syracuse University Libraries Advisory Board Member Carl Armani and his wife Marcy, made in honor of Linda Dickerson-Hartsock, retiring LaunchPad executive director, who has not just created the Impact Prize in 2017, but inspired the next generation of founders and makers to always be cognizant of what it means to be always see the greater good..  This is the sixth annual competition, created to champion venture development to help solve community challenges, a cause that Dickerson-Hartsock has personally and professionally championed throughout her career.

Previous Impact Prize competitions funded by the Armani family have honored Dr. Gay Culverhouse, a pioneer in education, sports, and medicine, serving as president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1988 to 1994. She was the voice before congress for retired players with brain disorders that might have resulted from on-field concussions largely ignored by their teams. She led the charge to create and implement mandatory guidelines for sidelining players with concussions. She invested her own money to create the Gay Culverhouse Players’ Outreach Program, now known as the Retired Player Assistance. Beyond her career with the NFL, she had an impressive tenure as an education and entrepreneur. After her football career she served as president of Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio.

Those interested can apply online.