“The Elite Eight” Syracuse University teams will be battling it out “Shark Tank” style in the campus edition of the ACC InVenture Prize on January 29, 2021 hosted by the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at SU Libraries. The competition is open to student startups at the 15 colleges and universities that are part of the ACC Academic Consortium. The Syracuse University campus winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize generously sponsored by M&T Bank and move on to the conference-wide virtual finals hosted by North Carolina State University and televised by PBS.
Competing in the campus qualifier will be teams led by:
- Alexander Don ’22, Whitman — Cirus is a social media platform for people who prefer their voices to be valued rather than visual appearances. The problem Cirus is solving is that the social media apps available on the market promote too many issues concerning self-image.
- Ben Ford ’23, Whitman — DoNATION is an impact investment platform that offers an automated system that easily and effectively matches people launching a variety of projects with donors who share a similar interest.
- Bruno Gonzalez Hauger ’21, Whitman — Ambassadoor Technologies has three main goals: 1.) to connect small brick-and-mortar businesses to nano-influencers 2.) to enable anyone on Instagram with engagement to be a paid influencer and 3.) to automate the influencer search, compensation, and management processes.
- Cullen Kavanaugh, 22, Whitman – Spread is a mobile application that provides a platform for custom wagers on events between friends.
- Kyra Thomas ’21, Engineering and Computer Science — Signal is a company that focuses on creating technology solutions that solve issues related to accessibility and inclusion.
- Murray Lebovitz ’23, Whitman — Keep Coffee Casual is creating access to the future of coffee. Building modern coffee culture through sustainability, inclusion, and creativity.
- Russell Fearon ’20 G’21, Engineering and Computer Science — Sugex is discovering and creating solutions that meet unmet social determinants of health for diabetes. The Sugex Watch invention will control blood sugars and eventually help prevent diabetes in a glucose monitoring system for all Type 1, Type 2, and pre-diabetics.
- Sam Hollander ‘22, Whitman and Newhouse – FSCL is pioneering the use of alternative finance vehicles to build a more simple, affordable and flexible solution to finance higher education.
The ACC InVenture Prize Competition is the nations’ largest undergraduate student innovation competition. For the very first time since its inception in 2016, the ACC InVenture Prize is going virtual for 2021 and North Carolina State University will once again serve as the host university for the competition. The ACC finals were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
In addition to Syracuse University, the 15 participating ACC Conference colleges are: Boston College, Clemson University, Duke University, Florida State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina State, University of Notre Dame, University of Louisville, University of Miami, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Pittsburgh, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and Wake Forest University.
Stay tuned as the campus winners are announced and watch the 2021 ACC InVenture Prize Competition PBS broadcast on April 21, 2021 to experience the virtual competition and find out which team will bring home the grand prize.