Two student ventures vie for SU InVenture Prize final on Feb 24

dsc_0417 Two Syracuse University teams will battle it out Shark Tank style in the SU final round of the the InVenture Prize, a student startup competition open to the 15 colleges and universities that are part of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Academic Consortium.

Jack Phillips, founder of IIID, and Kate Beckman, founder of Fresh U, will go head-to-head in a final “shoot-out” round on Friday, February 24 at 1 p.m. in Whitman Room 104.

One of them will represent Syracuse University at the InVenture Prize finals in Atlanta on March 30-31.  They will face off against the campus winner from other ACC campuses — 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.

The winning team in the Atlanta competition will receive $15,000 to continue development of their invention or product. The second-place team will receive $10,000, and $5,000 will be awarded to the fans’ favorite invention, as determined by online and text voting during the televised final round.

IIID creates 3D printed architectural applications for historic replication and preservation projects. Founded by Jack Phillips, a fifth-year architecture student, it models and creates digitally sculpted architectural elements fabricated from shale and clay powder. The 3D printing process is a new approach that brings detail, precision and affordability to the construction and building materials industry, especially for the restoration and preservation of architecturally significant buildings with ornate elements that are typically only reproduced by skilled craftsmen.  Phillips has achieved proof of concept, and is working with preservation architects, engineers and other partners and is now refining his business model and go-to-market strategy.

Fresh U, founded by Kate Beckman, a Newhouse senior, is a national online publication geared toward college freshman.  Since launching in June 2015, Fresh U has grown to a staff of 300 contributing writers on more than 100 college campuses.  The company has a partnership with Teen Vogue and completed in the finals of Student Startup Madness.  Its competitive advantage is its contributor model, technology and editorial approach.  Beckman is an accomplished public speaker on content development and marketing trends, opportunities and issues related to Gen Z.