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Winners Announced for Entrepreneur Student Competitions

Winners Announced for Entrepreneur Student Competitions

Winners of the School of Information Studies’ (iSchool) Raymond von Dran (RvD) Fund for Student Entrepreneurship competition, the Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, and the Compete CNY regional qualifier for the New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC) were announced on April 14, 2020 via an online YouTube video event.

The concurrent online competitions were coordinated by the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries (LaunchPad). Entrepreneur student team winners and prize amounts are:

RvD Fund:

Consumer Products category:

  • $11,000 to FSCL, founded by Sam Hollander (’23 Whitman), for an alternative, affordable and flexible solution to finance higher education 

Technology and Entertainment category:

  • $7,500 to Ambassadoor, founded by Bruno Gonzalez Hauger (’21 Newhouse and Whitman), for a mobile platform that allows businesses to connect with and utilize nano-influencers efficiently and effectively 
  • $4,000 to CLLCTVE, founded by Kelsey Davis (’19 Newhouse and G ’20 Whitman), for a digital platform connecting college creatives and brands 
  • $2,500 to DreamVybz, founded by Daniel Green (’20 Engineering and Computer Science), for a platform connecting young Black and LatinX leaders and student organizations across campuses to develop leaders of color 
  • $2,000 to Girl Power, founded by Nancy Wang (’20 Whitman and Newhouse), for a platform to connect female tech professionals with customers to increase gender diversity and empower women 
  • $2,000 to Itemize, founded by Ryan Taggart (’21 iSchool), for an app to keep track of items for insurance purposes 

Health and Well Being category:

  • $6,000 to Visos, founded by Matt Shumer (’22 Whitman), for a Virtual Reality system designed for medical applications 
  • $3,500 to PAANI, founded by Nikita Chatterjee (’20 Arts and Sciences) and Brianna Howard (’20 Falk), for a water filter system engineered in a traditional sari cloth 
  • $1,500 to ViV, Nathaniel Kuhl (’20 Computer Science and Engineering), for a personalized step-down program to combat nicotine addiction 

Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship:

  • $2500 to PAANI, founders Nikita Chatterjee (’20 Arts and Sciences) and Brianna Howard (’20 Falk), for a water filter system engineered in a traditional sari cloth 
  • $2500 to Code++, Claire Howard (’23 Maxwell), for computer science camps in developing nations 
  • $2500 for EcoBamboo Living, Justin Diaz (’23 Engineering and Computer Science), for sustainable and affordable bamboo homes to address climate change
  • $2500 for CLLCTVE, Kelsey Davis (’19 Newhouse and G’20 Whitman), for a digital platform connecting college creatives and brands 

Compete CNY Regional Qualifier:  

Note: The top two teams in each of the five categories will move on to the New York State Business Plan Competition, being held virtually in May. The LaunchPad coordinated the Central New York Regional Qualifier, which was open to any team at a Central New York college or university.  

Technology and Entertainment

  • Amabassadoor, Bruno Gonzalez Hauger (’21 Whitman), Syracuse University
  • Girl Power, Nancy Wang (’20 Whitman), Syracuse University

Consumer Products and Services

  • FSCL, Sam Hollander (’23 Whitman), Syracuse University
  • Finger Lakes Drone Services, Luke Didion, LeMoyne College

Energy and the Environment

  • EcoBamboo Living, Justin Diaz (’23 Engineering and Computer Science), Syracuse University
  • CLOVO, Megan Martis, Colgate University

Health and Well Being

  • Visos, Matt Shumer (’22 Whitman), Syracuse University
  • PAANI, Nikita Chatterjee (’20 Arts & Sciences) and Brianna Howard (’20 Falk), Syracuse University

Military and First Responders:

  • Youth Government Services, Daniel McMurray (’19 and G ’20 Maxwell), Syracuse University 

About the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries: The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars in Bird Library is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the entire University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network that provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and creators. The program serves faculty, staff, students, and alumni across disciplines who are interested in innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, venture creation, and taking ideas from concept to commercialization. The program supports a key pillar of Syracuse University’s Academic Strategic Plan to create an innovation ecosystem across the institution that prepares participants to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world.

Cristina Hatem

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