Twelve Syracuse teams advance to the finals of the New York State Business Plan Competition

A panel of distinguished business and community leaders selected regional winners to advance to the New York Business Plan Competition to be held April 27 at the WCNY public broadcasting studios in Syracuse. Nearly 40 teams pitched in the Compete CNY qualifier hosted March 25 by the Blackstone LaunchPad at Bird Library.

Syracuse University student startups selected to advance to the New York State competition include:

Food and AgTech: Selim Dangoor, Munch Jerky and Noah Mechnig-Giordano, Happy Loose Leaf Tea

Health & Wellbeing: Simran Lakhani, Sense A, Justin Monaco and Bruno Gonzalez-Hauger, Illumenar

Safety, Power & Mobility: Catherine Forrest, Trishla Jain and Abdullah Naimzadeh, Secwins, and Justin Gluska, Bus Point

Media, Art & Entertainment: Zebedayo Masongo, The Grnwood and Amanda Smith, SusBots

Consumer Business and Products & Hardware: Justin Diaz, Eco Bamboo Living and Damaris “Koi” Munyua, Slay-Sustainable

Services and Software: Gabe Ruoff, Zephyr-Pay and Kelly Davis, Wo-manly

Compete CNY judges included: Leah Isgar, NYSTAR Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering; Marcus Webb, CenterState CEO; Ryan Williams, Good Life Foundation; Caitlin Zubrowski, NYBPC and Columbia Technology Ventures; Scott Laundry, Central New York Technology Development Organization; Meghan Florkowski, WISE Women’s Business Center; Michael Feng, consultant and systems integration engineer; and Alex Deyhim, Cornell University and founder and CEO of Advanced Design Consulting USA.

Student startups across the state competed across New York’s ten geographic zones – Capital Region, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, New York City and Long Island. The top two teams from six different industry/vertical tracks in each region were then invited to pitch in the state event to venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, experienced entrepreneurs, and leaders from the corporate community.

The April 27 finals will be held in conjunction with Venture NY, hosted by the Upstate Capital Association of New York. The live event will feature startup pitches and investor networking, panels and workshops on early stage investing and funding for companies, and a keynote conversation with Seth Levine from the Foundry Group, and co-author Elizabeth MacBride about their book, “The New Builders”, presented by Grasshopper Bank.

Students pitching in the qualifying Compete CNY regional round included:

Aidan MickleburghAbridgd
Alexander RolinskiSice-Me
Anthony Mazzacane, Paul Franco, Zach StahlHydroHealth
Amanda SmithSusBots
Bearett Tarris Natural Gait
Ben DelmarshHere’s My Life
Brandon HenryBeyond the Box
Brian BurtonUmani
Catherine Forrest Secwins
Claire ChevalierCan Make Compost
Damaris “Koi” MunyuaSlay-Stainable
Gabe RuoffZephyr-Pay
Elizabeth GoldblattDrake Riley   
Hafiz Awais AfzalRahnumai
Jack Rose Bladepoint Media
Jared AndersonThe Emergency Preparedness Project
Justin DiazEco Bamboo
Justin GluskaBus Point
Justin Monaco, Bruno Gonzalez-HaugerIllumenar
Kai Patriciou-cycl
Kaifeng Chen, Luo Bei, Daniel LimReality
Kellan GodfreyRemote Start
Kelly DavisWo-manly
Lexi CianfraniClub Match
Matthew CastagnozziPsych-Tek
Natasha Lauren BraoHoly Egg
Noah Mechnig-GiordanoHappy Loose Leaf Tea
Sajjad Albadri, Sajjad AlhashamiQPuff
Samantha ChingCoHabit
Selim DangoorMunch Jerky
Shaming MaDouyou Delivery
Simran Lakhani Sense A
Travis GhirdarieMany Hands
Xuhong FangLearn Z
Yuki JiangColor Rush
Zach KatzIndie Watch
Ze ZengPaymenta
Zebedayo Masongo The Grnwood
Yuki JiangColor Rush