Whitman’s eighth annual Orange Tank business pitch competition brought Whitman students and alumni entrepreneurs together to pitch their ventures to a panel of entrepreneurial alumni judges for a total of $41,000 in prizes thanks to the generosity of Whitman Advisory Council member and Syracuse University Life Trustee John Couri ’63 (A&S), H’08.
Orange Tank Winners: Alumni Category
- First place, $5,000 — Sam Hollander ’21 (WSM/NEW) and James LePage ’22 of ShareClub
- Second place, $2,500 — Blaine Killen ’15 (WSM/IST) and Eric Atcheson of FitLift
Orange Tank Winners: Student Category
- First place, $5,000 — Noah Mechnig-Giordano ’22 (ECS), ’23 MBA, of Happy Loose Leaf Tea
- Second place, $2,500 — Jack Adler ’23 and Sam Holland ’23 of Out2Win
- Third place, $1,000 — Selim Dangoor ’23 (WSM/NEW) of MUNCH Jerky
Orange Tank Grand Prize Winner
- $25,000 — Sam Hollander ’21 (WSM/NEW) and James LePage ’22 of ShareClub
“We’re thrilled to have won both first place and the grand prize at the Orange Tank competition. It’s a testament to the hard work that our team has put in, and we’re excited to use the prize money to help us bring ShareClub to as many public companies as possible,” says Hollander.
Emceeing the event this year was alumnus Derrell Smith ’10 (IST), G’13 (NEW), a dynamic leader and entertainer on a mission to spread love through food. He is the executive producer and host of Mad Good Food on Tastemade and CEO of 99EATS LLC. Smith is a frequent guest on the “Today” show and E! Network, sharing his twist on food from his upbringing and entertaining people with stories and tantalizing dance moves. He now resides in Los Angeles.
Smith interviewed Orange Tank 2021 grand prize winner Bruno Gonzalez Hauger ’21 (WHIT/NEW), ’22 M.S., co-founder of a medical development company Illumenar. Gonzalez Hauger took home the $25,000 prize last year for his venture Ambassadoor Technologies, an app that aims to help small brick and mortar companies stand out in social media through the use of nano-influencers.
Hollander, LePage, Mechnig-Giordano, Adler, Holland, Dangoor and Gonzalez-Hauger are all active LaunchPad participants and are peer mentors to other aspiring student startups. Together, they have won over $250,000 cumulatively in student and alumni competitions during their Syracuse University careers.