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Apply here by January 20 to win cash prizes at the 2021 ACC InVenture Prize

students posing in front of a ACC banner
Previous campus ACC InVenture Prize winners Quinn King ’20 and Alec Gillinder ‘20, VPA School of Design alumni and co-founders of MedUX. They went on to win second place and a $10,000 prize in the ACC finals. Since graduating, their company is actively raising investment and launching commercially.  They will be featured in this year’s televised show.

Applications close on January 20, 2021 for the Syracuse University Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) InVenture Prize.  The “shark tank” competition is open to student startup teams from the 15 colleges and universities in the ACC Academic Consortium.  Student teams can apply here and submit a one-page executive summary of a venture idea to participate in Syracuse University’s campus qualifier, which will be held virtually on January 29, 2021. The winner of that competition will receive a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by M&T Bank and will go on to participate in the televised virtual finals and compete for more than $30,000 in prizes.

The competition is open to undergraduate students who have received their degree within the past year and who are the original creators, inventors or owners of the intellectual property underlying their invention. The ACC InVenture Prize is the nation’s largest undergraduate student innovation competition.

“I believe that in the modern era, anyone can start a scalable, high-growth company and every metropolitan area should have a thriving startup community,” said M&T Bank Regional President Allen Naples. “By helping Syracuse University host the InVenture Prize Challenge, we’re investing in the exceptional creativity and ingenuity of our students and doubling down on our efforts to build our entrepreneurial community into one that generates jobs and prosperity for generations to come.”

For questions, coaching, or helping with pitch competition, reach out to the LaunchPad.

Accepting applications for Spring Fellowships with a $5,000 stipend

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This is a reminder that we are still accepting applications through January 29, 2021 for Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars LaunchPad Spring Fellowships with a $5,000 stipend.  Student ventures selected for this prestigious program will have access to industry experts, successful entrepreneurs, exclusive guest speakers, and investors.  Up to 50 student founders will be selected from across the entire LaunchPad global network.  Each team will be awarded $5,000 in non-dilutive grant funding to support their technology ventures.  Read the guidelines below and apply now.  Note:  it is very important to let the Syracuse LaunchPad know you are applying and you should be a LaunchPad member, so join here.

Apply if you are:

  • Developing new technology to solve existing problems (including hardware, software, SAAS and mobile applications and computing, AI, VR, machine-learning, blockchain and cybersecurity startups)
  • Applying current technology to solve new problems or in a new way (including new uses of online platforms and marketplaces, leveraging the IoT, remote/cloud computing, electronic communication and entertainment)

Be aware of key dates:

  • Applications: NOW through January 29, 2021
  • Application review: February 1 to February 12, 2021
  • Selected companies announced (publicly): February 22, 2021.
  • Fellowship Runs: March 1 to April 23, 2021

Check application criteria:

  • Must be a current student or 2020 graduate (undergraduate level, graduate level) enrolled at LaunchPad network university.
  • Must be a lead founder / co-founder of the venture.
  • Must have an existing tech venture past the idea stage (venture may be for-profit, not-for-profit, Public Benefit Corporation or B-corporation).
  • Must be working on a tech venture as described above.
  • Must be self-motivated and driven to complete work independently and with minimal oversight.
  • Must have availability to dedicate between 3-4 hours per week on the program.
  • Must have well-defined, quantifiable (SMART) goals and milestones to be completed within the 8-week period of the fellowship.
  • Must be past the idea-stage and ideally have a pitch deck, executive summary, a logo, a website, social media accounts (Ex; LinkedIn and Twitter).
  • Must have some traction e.g., early sales, MOUs, funding raised, customer interest, user base, etc. (we will ask for examples in this form).
  • Must have demonstrated leadership in both executing on business or program operations and galvanizing support.
  • Must have experience working with mentors or advisors, integrating feedback into their venture, and demonstrating coachability.

The selection committee is comprised of Future Founders, Techstars and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. The committee will give special consideration to diverse leadership and/or founding teams. 

If you are active member of the LaunchPad, you may request our support in submitting the application.

LaunchPad nominates SU startups FSCL, Ambassadoor Technologies and doNATION to the Startup Grind global competition

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The Syracuse University LaunchPad has proudly nominated three campus teams for the Startup Grind global student startup pitch competition. The event offers founders from across the LaunchPad network a chance to pitch for over $50,000 in non-dilutive grant funding.  A past Startup Grind global winner was Josh Aviv ’15 G ’17, founder of SparkCharge, a venture he founded as a student at Syracuse University. This year, the LaunchPadhas nominated Sam Hollander ’22 (Whitman and Newhouse), founder of FSCL, Bruno Gonzalez Hauger ’21 (Whitman and Newhouse), co-founder of Ambassadoor and Ben Ford ’23 (Whitman), founder of doNATION to be our university candidates.

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FSCL logo

Hollander is founder and CEO of FSCL, a financial services startup pioneering the use of alternative finance vehicles to build a more simple, affordable and flexible solution to finance higher education. FSCL is a company that lies at the intersection of FinTech and EdTech, with the main objective of alleviating the burden of the student debt crisis, both on a macro and a micro level through the widespread use of Income Share Agreements.  Hollander has been a LaunchPad Global Fellow, LaunchPad Rubin Family Innovation Mentor, Orange Ambassador, and was one of the key organizers of the first Syracuse University LaunchPad Startup Weekend.  He is a recent graduate of the LaunchPad & Techstars Fellowship Program.

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Ambassadoor Technologies logo

Gonzalez Hauger is CEO of Ambassadoor Technologies which he co-founded with his brother Marco.  The venture has three main goals: connect small brick-and-mortar businesses to nano-influencers; enable anyone on Instagram with engagement to be a paid influencer; and automate the influencer search, compensation, and management process.  He is also president of the Syracuse University Entrepreneurship Club as well as president of the TNH Ad Agency at Syracuse University which is one of the country’s largest student-run ad agencies.

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doNATION logo

Ford is founder of doNATION, an impact funding platform that efficiently and effectively matches people launching a variety of projects with donors who share similar interests.  doNATION can also help build a personalized network of like-minded people what want to change the world one donation at a time.  Ford is a multi-faceted entrepreneur who is also founder of Jersey Boy Apparel LLC, which he launched in 2019. 

The LaunchPad hosted a competition to select three teams to represent Syracuse University in the network challenge.  FSCL, Ambassadoor and doNATION were chosen on the basis of investability, business model viability, innovation, market size, traction, founder, pitch quality and active participation in Syracuse LaunchPad programming, as well as the initiative they displayed putting together application materials for the competition.

The three teams will now go on compete for a spot in the semi-final round and potentially move on to become one of five finalist teams competing for a $55,000 prize package in the network event to be held virtually alongside Startup Grind’s Global Conference and Startup Summit from February 22 to 25, 2021.  Startup Grind final competition judges include David Cohen, Co-Founder, Managing Partner and Chairman, Techstars.

Startup Grind is the world’s largest community of startups, founders, innovators, and creators. The Startup Grind Global 2021 Conference features over 100 workshops, roundtables, keynotes, and fireside chats focused on helping startups and innovative teams learn, grow, and scale in today’s evolving tech ecosystem.

Faculty innovators invited to apply to CUSE grant program

close up of someone working in a campus faculty lab

Faculty are invited to submit a proposal by March 1 to the 2021 Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program, a program managed by the University’s Office of Research to grow research enterprise, foster interdisciplinary collaborations and enhance University-based scholarship.  The program was launched through the $100 million Invest Syracuse initiative to enhance academic excellence.

The CUSE grant program supports faculty research in all disciplines, including basic, translational and applied sciences; social sciences; physical and life sciences; engineering; liberal arts and humanities; and professional studies, as well as creative and other scholarly activities. Priority is given to strategic interdisciplinary initiatives at the University and disciplinary research areas with great potential for extramural funding and institutional recognition.

Five types of grants are available for 2021:

  • Seed Grant: Funding is capped at $5,000 per grant. Applications can be individuals or teams.
  • Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant: Funding is capped at $30,000 per grant. Applications can be individuals (innovative) or teams (interdisciplinary research).
  • Good to Great Grant: Funding is capped at $30,000 per grant. Applications can be individuals or teams.
  • Interdisciplinary Seminar Grant: Funding is capped at $10,000. Applications can be individuals or teams.
  • COVID-Relief Grant: Funding is capped at $15,000.  Applications can be individuals or teams.

The full RFP is available on the Office of Research web site. Applications are now being accepted through Syracuse University’s Applicant Portal:

A general information session will be held via Zoom on Jan. 20. Subject-specific information sessions are also being scheduled; check for more scheduled events.

For more information, visit the CUSE Grant Program website or read this SU News story.

City of Syracuse looking for entrepreneurial candidates for a Business Opportunity Specialist

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The City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood & Business Development is looking for entrepreneurial candidates for the position of ‘Business Opportunity Specialist’ within the Division of Business Development. The job description is below, and we encourage Syracuse University alumni as well as graduating seniors to apply and put your innovation skills to work helping serve businesses, entrepreneurs, residents and community stakeholders launching ventures or looking to invest in Syracuse.  The on-line posting is here, and details are below.  Help us build our community ecosystem and make an impact.

Job description:

The position is responsible for supporting business development through direct assistance of small businesses, entrepreneurs, as well as the attraction/retention and expansion of local firms. The incumbent is responsible for engaging with existing and prospective business owners and other community stakeholders seeking to create economic opportunity in the city of Syracuse. This includes conducting available commercial site location searches and identifying resources for real estate development, as well as providing administrative support to public authorities housed within the Division of Business Development when necessary. The incumbent may also provide additional capacity to City efforts to redevelop underutilized land including brownfields and municipally-owned property. The work also involves responding to general business inquiries and assisting projects under review for permitting and zoning approvals. Assignments and responsibilities may also include general research and providing technical assistance to ongoing City initiatives and planned development projects. Other related work activities will be performed as required. The incumbent works under general supervision of the Director of Business Development.

Typical work activities:

  • Maintain database information and identify properties available through various commercial brokerage websites and through other platforms. Respond directly to brokerage and site location inquires within the city of Syracuse.
  • Utilize the City’s information tools such as the Integrated Property System (IPS), AS400, Tolemi Building Blocks mapping software to provide parcel-level data and aggregate summaries of a properties by land use, condition, code violation(s), and other areas to provide neighborhood/ward/assessment district information on vacant and distressed properties and other areas of compliance (e.g., certificates of use, certificates of compliance, etc.).
  • Respond and assist with various inquires related to properties, businesses, or other entities and support proactive outreach and planning efforts by the Business Development staff.
  • Attend pre-development meetings and participate in other discussions to provide technical support to advance these projects forward with municipal approvals and assistance.
  • Participate in discussions within the Property Sales Review Committee (PSRC) on requests to purchase of city-owned property, and assist in the processes to transfer publicly held assets.
  • Serve as the liaison between NBD and other divisions/departments as directed regarding project reviews, infrastructure coordination, and submissions to the Central Permit Office.
  • Other projects as assigned by the Director of Business Development, Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, including but not limited to:

o Work with City staff and community partners to develop plans and projects for neighborhood business corridors/districts and engage with stakeholders involved in these areas.

o Work directly with businesses, entrepreneurs, developers, economic development partners, and commercial real estate brokers to develop and maintain a development site inventory in the city of Syracuse.

o Prepare and/or assist in the preparation of reports and office projects.

o Research, analyze, and report on pertinent governmental programs and legislation that affect business development and/or expansion.

o Gather, compile, analyzes, and presents information and data regarding local business conditions to help area businesses solve specific local problems.

o Assist with business retention and support.

o Attend conferences or training seminars as needed.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration, economics, finance, urban planning/development, or other related field.
  • Excellent written and communication skills. Highly organized, detail oriented, and ability to multitask and apply critical thinking when needed in creative problem-solving scenarios.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook) required. Knowledge of ArcGIS is preferred.
  • Ability to work with a broad range of project partners & community stakeholders, including for-profit developers, not-for-profit agencies, investors, commercial real estate brokers, and neighborhood-based organizations.
  • The City of Syracuse is an Equal Opportunity Employer. City residency is required.

Applications now open for the 2021 CNYBAC Medical Device Innovation Challenge

Two student inventors looking at the camera
SU student inventors Kayla Simon ’19 and Elizabeth Tarangelo ’19, co-founders of In-Spire, were the winners of the 2018 CNYBAC MDIC competition

The Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) is holding the fifth round of its successful Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC) with applications accepted by the CNYBAC until April 30, 2021. Syracuse University innovators are invited to apply to this mentor-driven program to help medical device researchers and startups advance from concept to commercialization.

The CNYBAC will select up to five MDIC U.S.-based teams to receive intensive mentorship by quality, regulatory, and other experts throughout the six-month program. Teams may elect to participate virtually or receive free workspace on-site within the CNYBAC Creation Garage with access to its Stratasys F170 3D Printer and shared equipment. To be eligible to apply, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen, and have an idea or be in early-stage commercialization of a medical device per Food and Drug Administration medical device definition.

Additional opportunities include:

  • Paid stipend for commercialization services through the Syracuse University College of Law Innovation Law Center
  • Access to Student Engineering Capstone Design Programs
  • Food and Drug Administration Regulatory Guidance
  • Expansive Innovation Ecosystem and Networking opportunities
  • CNYBAC Concept to Commercialization Virtual Series and Manufacturing Workshop

The program has been successful at launching entrepreneurs and their device ideas into businesses that can attract investors. A number of Syracuse University startups have participated in the program, with several winning top honors at the pitch competition which concludes the program.

 “The connections to universities and organizations in the Central New York area and beyond has been invaluable for us. The program helps us be capital efficient while making a lot of progress. We’ve also connected with engineering/product development and regulatory mentors through the program, which has enabled us to make a ton of progress in a relatively short period of time. I couldn’t recommend the MDIC program enough,” said recent MDIC graduate and FuzeHub grant winner Souvik Paul of CathBuddy.

The LaunchPad is a collaborator of the CNYBAC, and LaunchPad executive director Linda Dickerson Hartsock is on the CNYBAC advisory board and serves as a mentor for the MDIC program.

Click to learn more about the MDIC program. Applications are accepted online until April 30, 2021. 

Innovation Law Center to offer virtual office hours this spring at the LaunchPad

The Syracuse University College of Law Innovation Law Center (ILC) is once again partnering with the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries to hold bi-weekly virtual office hours this spring semester for innovators and inventors this spring. The Innovation Law Center helps Syracuse startups with four aspects of developing a comprehensive landscape: IP, competition, market and regulatory environment.

Third year Syracuse University law students lending their technical expertise to SU innovators working to commercialize their ideas include:  Viviana Bro, Kaitlyn Crobar, Nikkia Knudsen, Rickson Galvez, Sohela Suri and Sehseh Sanan.

Hours for the spring 2021 semester are below:

  • Thursday, January 28: (3-5 p.m.) Sohela Suri
  • Wednesday, February 10: (3-5 p.m.) Nikkia Knudsen
  • Thursday, February 25: (3-5 p.m.) Sehseh Sanan
  • Wednesday, March 10: (3-5 p.m.) Kaitlyn Crobar
  • Thursday, March 25: (3-5 p.m.) Rickson Galvez
  • Wednesday, April 7: (noon-2 p.m.) Viviana Bro

From market landscapes to intellectual property protection, to licensing options and potential funding sources, the ILC helps companies turn their technology into a commercial reality.  While the ILC does not file for or prosecute patents, and does not provide legal advice or opinions, the LaunchPad can refer inventors and entrepreneurs to IP law firms to implement patent, trademark, copyright filings, licensing agreements and other legal work.

In the past two years, the partnership between the ILC and the LaunchPad helped Syracuse University students produce solid patent research and landscape reports that positioned them for winnings in campus, state and national business plan competitions. 

Working collaboratively with programs such as Invent@SU, students were able to complete patent searches that helped them file more than 60 provisional patents, and go on to work with outside counsel to turn seven of them into non-provisional patent applications. 

To schedule an appointment with the ILC team, e-mail Reservations are highly suggested to plan for individual time.  Appointments during the pandemic will be by video conference.

Murray Lebovitz ’23 is making coffee more accessible

Student in a suit looking at the camera

When COVID-19 sent all Syracuse students packing last March, then freshman Murray Lebovitz started recording and sharing his morning ritual: making a cup of coffee. Using the coffee equipment in his Chattanooga, Tenn. home, Lebovitz discussed in these videos his process of grinding the beans, heating the water and eventually brewing the coffee. He would then review his own work.

His followers enjoyed the content, and he quickly realized the opportunity he had. At the time social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram were abuzz with do-it-yourself projects, recipes and life-hacks. He could help usher that DIY content to the coffee world.

So, he started an Instagram page, Keep Coffee Casual. In launching the Instagram account, he hopes to make the world of coffee more accessible. At the moment, price and culture barriers lock out many people from enjoying delicious coffee, said Lebovitz. There is also the problem of sourcing, which has long disenfranchised coffee growers in tropical, predominately poorer countries.

Lebovitz, currently a one-man team, is on a mission to challenge these issues in the coffee enthusiast community. Now a sophomore, he is an undeclared student in Whitman, but he hopes to study Supply Chain Management and Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises. This past fall he competed in four Blackstone Launchpad & Techstars competitions, developing his pitch and presentation delivery each time.  

He did all this while starting to sell his own cold brew coffee, developing a content strategy and growing his following on Instagram.    

“I feel really great being able to represent coffee,” said Lebovitz. “It’s that luxury item that people don’t really talk about.”

While he wasn’t able physically work out of the LaunchPad & Techstars hub in Bird Library this past fall due to COVID-19 restrictions, he participated in many coaching sessions with staff and LaunchPad peer mentors. Lebovitz says that the LaunchPad has been instrumental in his motivation to keep pushing forward. The competitions and mentorship have allowed him to keep refining his idea, developing his value proposition and pitching Keep Coffee Casual.

He is now looking to build out his team with other coffee enthusiasts who bring a variety of skill sets to bringing his idea to life.

Lebovitz has been connecting with coffee professionals in Syracuse to start creating this inclusive coffee community he set out to create. He has begun conversations with Café owners, roasters and enthusiasts to understand their needs.

Lebovitz is committed to bringing coffee into the homes of a wider, more inclusive swath of people. His most important piece of advice? Buy local.

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied by Murray Lebovitz.

Be part of it! Keep Coffee Casual is creating access to the future of coffee. Build modern coffee culture through sustainability, inclusion, and creativity. Great coffee is just around the corner and the team wants to brew it with you! Keep Coffee Casual is currently looking to expand the team with students passionate about coffee. Coffee brews creativity within us in each sip and Keep Coffee Casual is looking for students who want to explore what makes you unique. Roles include social media coordinator, web designer and photographer/videographer. If you love coffee and want to be part of the team drop Lebovitz a line at

Alumni gifts support innovators in SU’s global entrepreneurial ecosystem

students at an event at SU Libraries
LaunchPad students at SU Libraries (taken pre-pandemic), making a global impact

Syracuse University Libraries Advisory Council members played a very special role supporting the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at SU Libraries this academic year.  New LaunchPad programming and student experiential opportunities are being made possible by Library Advisory Council members like Todd B. Rubin ’04, Jeffrey Rich ‘67, Carl ’60 and Marcy Armani, Adam ’96 and Amy Fazackerley, and Josh Aviv ’15 G’17, as well as donors to SU Libraries such as Gianfranco Zaccai ’78 and ’15 (Hon.).

Their gifts directly supported students who are part of Syracuse’s innovation hub at SU Libraries.  The program connects the University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network that provides support for aspiring innovators.  The LaunchPad serves faculty, staff, students and alumni across all disciplines who are interested in learning about creativity, innovation and venture creation.  With a focus on inclusion and diversity, the program helps students develop skills for personal and professional career development, as well as to launch ventures they might have started on campus.  The goal of the program is to develop the next generation of trailblazers in a global world and equip them with essential skills to succeed.

Rubin, the President and Minister of Evolution at the Republic of Tea, generously supported 18 student positions this academic year, enabling entrepreneurial students to engage as peer mentors, and to serve as outreach ambassadors and diversity and inclusion scholars.  His generosity was life changing for students who participated in the program.  The students who were supported through Rubin and his family foundation helped build a global village that proudly mirrors the rich diversity of today’s society and is recognized as a place that promotes perspectives and solutions from members who come from different ethnicities, languages, races, religions, abilities and disabilities, gender identities and socioeconomic status.

Jeffrey Rich, a partner at Rich Michaelson Magaliff LLP, provided a leadership gift to launch the SU Libraries Innovation Fund to help move student ventures from concept through research and discovery, to proof of concept and commercialization.  The non-dilutive fund (not taking any equity stake) helps promising student ventures with product development, prototyping, market testing, legal or accounting needs associated with incorporation, patent work, third party testing, certification, or other specialized needs.

Gianfranco Zaccai, the co-founder of Continuum, now EPAM Continuum, a global innovation by design consultancy, provided a leadership gift to launch an innovative, interdisciplinary program focused on inclusive entrepreneurship and design.  The new Intelligence ++ program, housed at SU Libraries, is a partnership between the LaunchPad, the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education (InclusiveU) and the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).  It is designed to create innovative solutions to assist persons with intellectual disabilities and their families.  His gift was through the Zaccai Foundation for Augmented Intelligence (Intelligence++).

Carl Armani and his wife Marcy Kukul Armani created a Dr. Gay Culverhouse Award as part of the LaunchPad’s annual Impact Prize competition.  (See related article in this issue.)  The event is part of the LaunchPad’s celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week at Syracuse University.

Josh Aviv created a new cleantech award as part of this year’s Impact Prize competition for a student startup tackling clean energy and climate change solutions.  The founder of SparkCharge, which he incubated as a student in the LaunchPad, he also became of the LaunchPad’s inaugural Alumni Entrepreneurs in Residence, generously donating his time mentoring student startups.  He received national attention this fall when he appeared on the series opener of ABC’s Shark Tank and scored a $1 million deal with the Sharks.

Adam and Amy Fazackerley also led mentoring initiatives at the LaunchPad, from hosting Syracuse students for meetings with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to sponsoring their participation at national trade shows and conferences.  They regularly participate in Fireside Chats, conduct mentoring workshops and engage entrepreneurial students as interns and student employees to work with them at Lay-n-Go, the company they co-founded.

Efforts like these contributed to the LaunchPad’s 2020 success, even in a pandemic.  The program has cumulatively served more than 4,500 participants from every academic unit across campus and from 118 countries around the globe.  Participants have worked on more than 800 venture ideas, legally incorporated more than 100 companies, raised $37 million in external investment and won more than $3.5 million in business plan competitions.

student looking into the camera
Quinn King ’20

A great testimonial to this success is Quinn King ’20, who launched MedUX, a maker of portable medical infusion devices, as a student.  He was a Rubin Family Innovation Mentor, was mentored by Adam and Adam Fazackerley and Josh Aviv, and now serves as a teaching assistant for the Intelligence ++ program funded by Zaccai. He also worked with Lay-n-Go as a designer and digital content creator. 

“Because of the generosity of donors like Todd Rubin and Gianfranco Zaccai, amazing mentors like the Fazackerleys and Aviv, and seed funding programs like Jeff Rich’s Innovation Fund, I was fortunate enough to experience the LaunchPad at SU Libraries as a student, mentor, founder and now as a young alumnus.  Gifts like these have a much wider impact than people realize, doubling the educational impact with an unparalleled student experience,” says King. “Working with programs like Invent@SU and the LaunchPad, and serving as a Rubin Family Innovation Mentor and Intelligence ++ teaching assistant, gave me the chance to pay it forward.  Because of the generosity of LaunchPad donors to SU Libraries, I widened my personal and professional horizons and am bringing these new perspectives on innovation and entrepreneurship to my journey.”

He adds, “There is no better place than the LaunchPad & Techstars in Bird Library to work with creative people solving complex problems and making a difference in the world.”

Applications now open for $3 million GENIUS NY competition and technology accelerator program

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$1 million grand prize winner Sentient Blue team advisors have remained engaged with the LaunchPad at Syracuse University as mentors to student startups through MPD Partners.

GENIUS NY is now accepting applications through March 31, 2021 for its $3 million business competition and accelerator program.  Syracuse University startups are invited to join ventures from around the world developing innovations in unmanned systems, IoT, big data, and robotics in applying for the world’s largest business accelerator competition focused on unmanned systems. ​ The year-long accelerator program is operated out of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse.

Five finalist companies will share in the $3 million prize package, including a grand prize of $1 million. The program also offers company stipends, resources, programming and networking opportunities to assist innovative startups with the tools they need to take advantage of emerging opportunities. GENIUS NY participants are required to operate their business in Central New York for at least one year.

Applications are currently being accepted at from tech startups focused on unmanned systems, internet of things (IoT), big data and robotics. Subsets may include precision and remote sensing, data collection and analytics, guidance or communication systems, and sensors, among other technological categories.

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges and 15 to 20 semi-finalists will be selected to present demos and pitches this spring. Five companies will advance to participate in the competition and enter enter the accelerator at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden where they will be immersed in the incubator’s events, resource pool and mentoring. The accelerator program is expected to start in May however delays to the start of the program may be created by COVID-19.

GENIUS NY is funded through the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative through Empire State Development. 

Read more about the announcement here:  GENIUS NY Now Accepting Applications Through March 31, 2021.

Learn more and apply before March 31, 2021 here: