Each semester teams of graduating students enrolled in the Capstone course at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management are challenged to propose and develop viable, sustainable entrepreneurial ventures. At the end of the semester, teams pitch these ventures at the Whitman School’s Capstone Business Plan Competition where their presentations and ventures are judged by a panel of industry experts. Each team is led by a faculty advisor. This spring, more than 20 teams competed in the first round of the competition on April 26. Four finalists moved on to the next stage of the competition on April 27, where one team was selected for first place.
“The purpose of the Capstone Competition is to give students an opportunity to connect all the dots and take everything they’ve learned in their business education and pull it all together into one cohesive project,” said John Torrens, deputy director of the entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises department at the Whitman School and professor of entrepreneurial practice. “It’s also a cool unifying experience for our Whitman students.”
This semester’s winners were all Whitman School seniors.
First place went to Team TicketRush, made of Charlie Lobsenz, Daniel Strauss, Amanda Rylee, Linqing Li and Yang Yang. TicketRush brings missed revenue for high demand events back to artists and venues. At the same time, TicketRush allows fans to set the price of tickets through an auction type system that allows for ticket availability through all points of the ticket sales (no selling out). Artist and venues make more money, and there is always ticket availability and fairer prices for fans.
“The most important aspect of Capstone is being flexible in your solution but unwavering in solving the problem,” said Daniel Strauss.
TicketRush’s faculty advisor was Alex Kostakis, professor of entrepreneurial practice at the Whitman School. For Kostakis, watching her students compete, learn and grow was rewarding.
“I’m extremely proud of my students this semester,” said Kostakis. “They kept their dedication and momentum going until the very end. This win is all about them, and so I am very proud of them and this should prove to them what they can do when they put their mind to something.”
Team MoodMetrics, comprised of Alexandra Goodnough, Dante Obiago, Jessica Mallinar, Keri Huang and Taylore Ratsep, took home second place. MoodMetrics is a software service company that provides data-driven solutions based on real-time, crowdsourced insights. The company’s primary objective is through their service offerings, DJs will be empowered to give their best performances and venues will be capable of creating an outstanding environment that exceeds customer expectations. Kostakis also served as faculty advisor for this team.
Third place was awarded to Matt Husted, Terrance Lee, Dylan Li, Terrence Koo, Sara Talarico for their business OmniCharge, which offers multi-device wireless charging mats and wireless charging receiver stickers so that consumers are able to simply set their devices down and instantly begin charging without the need to plug in. Demeree served as their faculty advisor.
An honorable mention was received by Christopher Kane, Prosper Ro, Dasha Foley, Ralph Woo and Woo Lim. Their venture, NIM, Inc. an innovative credit-card shaped lip balm that can fit into a wallet. The package is made of recycled material and there are refillable inserts.