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:
|Anthony Mazzacane, Paul Franco, Zach Stahl
|Here’s My Life
|Beyond the Box
|Can Make Compost
|Damaris “Koi” Munyua
|Hafiz Awais Afzal
|The Emergency Preparedness Project
|Justin Monaco, Bruno Gonzalez-Hauger
|Kaifeng Chen, Luo Bei, Daniel Lim
|Natasha Lauren Brao
|Happy Loose Leaf Tea
|Sajjad Albadri, Sajjad Alhashami