Each year the Martin J. Whitman School of Management welcomes students from across Syracuse University’s campus for the annual Panasci Business Plan Competition, an event that encourages students to think entrepreneurially and allows them to showcase their innovative business ideas. While winners of the Panasci Business Plan Competition are awarded cash prizes, all participants are given the opportunity to further refine their products by gaining valuable feedback from a panel of distinguished industry professionals. The Panasci Business Plan Competition is open to Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students from every academic and programmatic level.
The winners of this year’s $20,000 first place Panasci Business Plan Competition award were Alec Gillinder ’20 and Quinn King ’20, both students from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The team pitched their business, MedUX, LLC, a medical product design and research firm that seeks to create innovative solutions for inpatient, at home and mobile care. Their product, Liberating Intravenous (L-IV), is a wearable and portable IV system that allows people in emergencies or disaster situations to get IV treatment quickly and efficiently while keeping them mobile. MedUX, LLC were also first-place winners in the Invent@SU competition and represented Syracuse University in the ACC InVenture Prize Competition in North Carolina, where they came in second place and won $10,000.
“We were very grateful to compete in this year’s Panasci Business Plan Competition,” said King. “Seeing the motivation in the community of entrepreneurs helps us strive to continue to grow our company.”
“This was our hardest competition yet, and it was an amazing experience to compete against such impressive companies,” said Gillinder. “This $20,000 is monumental in allowing our company to cover the next big steps in our startup costs.”
Jonathan Gregory ’19, Stephen Bolen ’18 and Isaac Yates ’18, all online MBA students from the Whitman School’s MBA@Syracuse program, took home the $7,500 second place prize for their product Latchkey. Their product, a smart home device that provides an easy and automatic way to be notified of arrivals or departures, requires no manual actions to trigger a notification and does not involve invasive GPS tracking. Latchkey also won the Student CNY Business Start-Up Award of $3,000 and are former winners of Syracuse University’s Orange Tank Business Pitch Competition.
First-year Whitman School student Matthew Shumer ’22 and Samuel Hollander ’22, a first-year student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications (Newhouse), earned the third-place prize of $2,500 after pitching OptechVR, a startup building the world’s most powerful virtual reality headset, designed for enterprise usage. Shumer was also named Student Entrepreneur of the Year.
“The Panasci Business Plan Competition is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to present all of the progress they’ve made on their businesses to a group of successful entrepreneurs and business people,” explained Alex McKelvie, associate dean for undergraduate and master’s education at the Whitman School. “The varying academic levels and backgrounds of competitors makes this competition unique in that participants are exposed to not only the judges’ perspective but the diverse perspective of their peers. This year we were excited to see a first-year student and online students among the winners. And it was outstanding to see the camaraderie and support for their fellow student entrepreneurs.”
Team Knifehand Nutrition, comprised of the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics’ Holly Terpstra ’19 and Bridget Clark ’19 and their partners Joseph Dunaway ’12 a Whitman School alumnus, earned the $5,000 Fetner Prize in Sustainable Enterprises award.
The Gilded Social Rising Entrepreneur Award, a $5,000 cash award, went to the Whitman School’s Jose Javier Garcia-Rovira ’19 for his business Gamercraft. (Garcia-Rovira, left, with Quentin Rosso ’18, last year’s Entrepreneur of the Year)
The Carol Nulman Social Enterprise Award of $1,000 was given to Alina Rashid ’19, an M.S. in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises student at the Whitman School, and Hina Naz Nagi ’19, a Whitman School M.S. in finance student, for their business Takmeel.
Honorable mentions go to the Whitman School’s Marcus Cook ’19 of MCM, an investment management firm with a focus on global fixed income, and Prioritage, an integrated technology platform and apparatus that uses vital sign monitoring and patient prioritizing algorithms for triage and patient management in emergency settings. Team Prioritage included the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Angelica O’Hara ’19, Samantha Santoni ’19 and Brooke Waldon ’19 and their partner McKenna Murtha ’18 (Newhouse).
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Syracuse University 2019 Panasci Business Plan Competition: Meet the Winners