Come to ‘Cuse Tank, Friday, October 18 at Bird Library


Twenty student teams are vying this week at ‘Cuse Tank, the second annual “Shark Tank” style competition this Friday, October 18 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Bird Library as a kick off to Family Weekend.  The event is co-sponsored by the Blackstone LaunchPad and Syracuse University Libraries, and all are invited to watch the pitches and show support for the teams.

A distinguished panel of judges who are SU parents and successful entrepreneurs from a wide variety of industry sectors will narrow down the field of 20 teams to the “Top Ten” who will pitch for $10,000 in prizes.

The event is the kick-off to SU Family Weekend, and an opportunity for families who are visiting from around the country, and around the world, to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of SU innovators.

“I continue to be impressed with the quality and creativity of the many SU students who make use of the Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library,” said David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, and interim iSchool Dean.  “I am very grateful to the parents who are giving their time to be part of this exciting competition.”

Cuse Tank logo

Contestants come from across campus, and are working on diverse ideas.  In alphabetical order, they are:

Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Room 114

Venture idea Idea champion Home college or school Brief description
Attend Pro Caleb Obiagwu Engineering and Com. Science Improving maintenance work-flow
Bluerem Noel Chang Maxwell Bluetooth medical diagnostic technology
CLLCTVE Kelsey Davis Whitman Digital platform for brands and creatives
EcoBamboo Living Justin Diaz Engineering and Com. Science Sustainable bamboo construction company
Fiat Finance Sam Hollander Whitman ISA platform solution to student debt
Modern Solutions David Fox College of Law Smart home technology installation service
PAANI Nikita Chatterjee Arts and Sciences Clean water solutions for global health
Visos Matt Shumer Whitman Enterprise-first VR toolset

Bird Library – Room 606


Venture idea Idea champion Home college or school Brief description
F.E.I Technology LLC Yuhang Zhang Whitman Asian food lunchbox service
Gather Nolan Kagan Whitman Building community over home cooked meals
HAUS Gokul Beed VPA IoT home appliance company
Iced Rachel Kaiser Whitman Tech sports apparel
Porta-Splint Maxwell Boise iSchool Lightweight, compact, portable splint
Thinc-hub Patrick Prioletti iSchool Platform to build innovation ecosystems

Bird Library – Room 608

Venture idea Idea champion Home college or school Brief description
Film Junction Nicole D’Souza Arts and Sciences Streaming service for independent films
Free-Swing Power Clinton Graham Engineering and Com. Science Portable mobile device to produce electricity
LFG Josh Berenson Whitman Fan content digital media platform
Mobile Crapper Spencer Krimsky Newhouse Portable environmentally-friendly toilet
TeaBreaf Nick Barba Whitman Weekly friend news briefing
UniRide David Kestin Whitman Mobile transit aggregation platform

The order of pitches will be selected at the event.  Pitches are open, and all are invited to watch.  The agenda is:

  • 8:00 a.m., Check in at the LaunchPad and briefing for judges and teams
  • 8:30 a.m., Pitches start in Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (Room 114), and Bird 606 and 608
  • 9:30 a.m., Wild card round pitches end and judges deliberate
  • 9:45 a.m., Wild card judges pick the winners of rooms 606 and 608 who advance to the main stage, and pitch with the “elite eight” who were preselected by judges
  • 11:00 a.m., Awards announced and reception, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons
  • 11:30 a.m., Program close

Photo:  LFG team, with founder Josh Berenson, left