Spring Capstone Business Plan Competition: Meet the Winners

This year, more than 30 teams of graduating students competed in the Spring 2017 Capstone Business Plan Competition at Syracuse University‘s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Capstone is an experiential program that joins all of the elements of the Whitman education by having students construct original business concepts and develop those concepts into viable business plans. Teams pitch business plans to a panel of judges at the end of each semester. Here are the results of the Spring 2017 Spring Capstone Business Plan Competition:

First Place: SurfEZ
Team members: Brett Aston, Lilith Ding, Adam Ganley, Ryan Kim, Brandon Wood
Faculty advisor: Ken Walsleben, professor of entrepreneurial practice

SurfEZ, Inc. created “The Pod” to provide any user the ability to teach themselves how to surf. Attachable to any longboard, The Pod provides equalized balance and self-propulsion without paddling so the user can focus on learning to stand up. By moving levers forward and backward, The Pod’s fins will rotate to drive the user in a constant forward motion as if being propelled by a motor. Once in the wave, the fins below will lock into place and provide stability once the user is standing up. The company will also publish a beginner’s guide for surfing called, “The Way of the Waves” to provide its users the rules and norms of surfing, as well as which beaches are safe to learn at.

Second Place: Rubber-Up
Team members: Scott Greenberg, Jack Grisko, Josh Tusang, Jiashi Cathy Sun, Shane Raymond
Faculty advisor: Ken Walsleben

Rubber-Up will take old tires, consolidate them in a warehouse, provide value-added shredding and sell the product to tire recycling companies. The benefit is that Rubber-Up can make getting rid of old tires extremely easy for those trying to dispose of scrap tires. It also allows for easy delivery of old tires as ‘feed stock’ to those who are trying to recycle. Additionally, Rubber-Up will be performing the initial breakdown of the old tires by removing the steel and chopping the tires into pieces.

Third Place: Transverse
Team members: Kyle Barnett, Lynnet Fragroso, Guadalupe Ibarra, Josh Metzman, Abbey Timpano
Faculty advisor: Ken Walsleben

Transverse is a smart device application that instantly translates speech to text in specific language dialects, which creates a very accurate translation. Transverse’s instant speech-to-text functionality allows users to converse more naturally between language dialects. Offline functionality makes it possible for users to engage in multi-lingual conversations anywhere at any time. These three unique features make it possible for immigrants, abroad students and tourists to navigate daily life in their new countries. Transverse is a patent-pending application.

Honorable Mention: Reflexior
Team members: Pratik Paul, Zeqian Chen, Wenchang Liu, Noutcha Lopes, Terell Drayton
Faculty advisor: Alejandro Amezcua, assistant professor of entrepreneurship

Reflexior is a tech company that is introducing a mirror with a LED touchscreen display, or a smart mirror. The Reflexior smart mirror will display information such as the time, weather for the day, traffic conditions and daily schedules.

Honorable Mention: SPINE
Team members: Beth Wilner, Deborah Lee, Daniel Gordon, Patrick Johnston, Ruslan Pankiv
Faculty advisor: Todd Moss, assistant professor of entrepreneurship

SPINE, LLC is a company that strives to promote a healthy lifestyle and provides a product that is both useful and beneficial to customers. SPINE has developed a posture correcting backpack that helps train users’ muscles to have proper posture, which will ultimately prevent back pain and will allow for a higher quality of life. The product makes the task of carrying a heavy backpack more comfortable, manageable and healthier for users.

Thank you to all judges for donating their time to the students and to the staff and faculty who supported the competition and student teams!