Whitman Capstone Business Plan Competition: Meet the Winners

photo of capstone sign

The Capstone experience for every student graduating from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University is a course that requires teams of students to propose and develop a viable, sustainable entrepreneurial venture. At the end of each semester, these student teams compete against one another in the Capstone Business Plan Competition. This spring, there were over 20 teams competing simultaneously in the building on Friday, April 27. Thank you to all judges for donating your time to our students and to the staff and faculty who supported the competition and student teams! This semester, our Capstone faculty included:  Alexandra Kostakis, John Torrens, and Ken Walsleben.


Capstone teams react to ThermAware first place announcement

1st Place: ThermAware

Team members: Gianna Mangicaro, Donald Foster, and David McCarroll

Faculty Advisor: Ken Walsleben

About: ThermAware Incorporated aims to create a thermochromic, color changing coating to revolutionize the cookware and bakeware of the 21st century. ThermAware Inc. seeks to offer a product mix utilizing a proprietary heat-sensitive, color-changing technology through a tri-layer thermochromic coating. This coating will be applied to the exterior of stainless steel cookware and bakeware and will change color to red when heated to alert that it is unsafe to touch.

Team Hoodini

Team Hoodini

2nd Place: Hoodini

Team Members: Divya Yeleswarapu, Troy Gates, Rebecca Vasconcellos, Quentin Rosso, and Steven Winschel Jr.

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Kostakis

About: Hoodini is a unique innovative approach to a detachable hoodie. Adaptable to any backpack, the Hoodini attaches itself using strong magnets that guarantee fabric stability for the hoodie when strong gusts of wind occur. The product is packaged as a backpack accessory, readily available to the user at the first sign of inclement weather.

third place winners

Team Paw Pro

3rd Place: Paw Pro

Team members: Erin DiFabio, Olivia Feng, Jessica Fricker, Kyojoon Koo, and Karl Lutz

Faculty Advisor: Ken Walsleben

About: The main goal of Paw Pro is to offer comfortable shoes for dogs that do not rub against paws and stay on without difficulty. Paw Pro shoes mitigates the problem of hairy paws collecting snow, ice, and other weather residue.The product comes in all sizes and products paws from hot pavement in the summer and snow, ice and salt in the winter.

Honorable Mention: APPLi

Team members: Marisa Bartos, Elizabeth Anderson, Jared Nelson, Eric Santangelo, and Steven Javier

Faculty Advisor: John Torrens

About: As a company, APPLi’s mission is to give children and their parents the freedom to choose contact lenses over glasses, without worrying about the risks of them becoming lost, contaminated or damaged. APPLi has created a product that simplifies these activities by making them hands-free using a small motor and precise sensor technology, protecting the lenses from bacteria on the skin, in the air, and the surrounding environment

Honorable Mention: Credente

Team members: Dew Mekto, Taylor Kaaukai, Jonathon Henderson, Kaiwen Li, and Leeko Lu

Faculty Advisor: John Torrens

About: Credente provides a safe and reliable network, which can be used by hospital credentialists to track their physician’s information and credentials for hiring purposes. The service utilizes Blockchain technology to reduce human error and drastically shorten the credentialing processes while preserving confidentiality.