An innovative and an entrepreneurial spirit abounded during The Panasci Business Plan Competition, a campus-wide student business plan competition hosted by the Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. The annual competition, established by the family of the late Henry Panasci, is made possible by David Panasci, ’80, president of DHP Consulting, as well as Scott Friedberg ‘14, founder and CEO of Gilded Social. It is open to all students at the University, as well as those from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
This year’s competition awarded $35,000 in prize money to the top teams with business plans for new ventures that represented the best potential for growth and attracting outside financing. All competitors submitted written business plans in the semi-final round, and then the top five teams were brought together virtually for the finals held in April. While the winners of the competition received cash prizes, all finalists were given valuable feedback from industry professionals that will allow them to further refine their ideas.
First place was awarded to Financial Services for College Lending, made up of team members Samuel Hollander ‘21 and Jack Lyons ‘21, who took the $20,000 prize for a financial service business for college students that specializes in using innovative and alternative solutions to financing higher education using technology. FSCL is building the world’s first plug-and-play solution to upstart and mobilize an Income Share Agreement (ISA) program in a matter of days. Its mission is to enable the widespread use of alternative finance for higher education.
Second place went to Ambassadoor Technologies and team members Bruno Gonzalez Hauger ‘21 and Marco Gonzalez Hauger ’22 (ECS). The team was awarded $7,500 for its mobile platform that completely automates the influencer marketing process for both businesses and influencers. Third place was presented to Sice-Me and team member Alexander Rolinski ‘24 with a prize of $2,500. Sice-Me is a mobile application available for download that creates insular marketplaces for college and high school campuses and their students. Honorable mentions were given to Bousquet Vineyard and team member Brian Bascom ’14 (ESC), ’21 MBA and Food-E and team members Samuel Chazen ‘21, Edwin Duke ‘22, Nicholas Julian ’21 (A&S), Chris Wildman ‘21 and Ryan Kiey ’20 (ECS), ’22 M.S. (ECS).
In addition, Sice-Me and Rolinski were presented with the Gilded Social Rising Entrepreneur Award of $5,000 for persistence and passion to seeing its idea through and creating a true business after graduation. Sice-Me’s platform allows college and high school students to engage in buying or selling products with their peers attending the same school.
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