Blackstone LaunchPad announces 2018-2019 business plan competitions

bright ideaBuilding on last year’s successful track record when Syracuse University teams captured a first-place honor and won a total of five awards in the 2018 New York State Business Plan Competition, the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University has announced a number of business plan competitions for the 2018-2019 academic year. Open to the Syracuse University community across all disciplines, the competitions include:

  • Orange Tank: Applications due late August; competition October 19, 2018. Open to Whitman alumni entrepreneurs and undergraduate majors from the Whitman School of Management.
  • ‘Cuse Tank: Applications due October 1, 2018; competition October 26, 2018. Open to Syracuse University undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines, who are working on developing new products, services or technologies.
  • Student Startup Madness: Applications open in September and run through early December 2018; semi-finalists announced in mid-January. Open to college student teams with digital media startups (in concept, in development or in operation).
  • Impact Prize: Applications due October 29, 2018; competition November 15, 2018. Open to Syracuse University students and SUNY ESF students taking entrepreneurship courses at SU.
  • Panasci Business Plan Competition: Applications due January 2019; competition April 12-13, 2019. Open to graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Rice Business Plan Competition: Applications due February 2019; competition April 2019. Open to primarily graduate students.
  • ACC InVenture Prize: Applications due February 1, 2019; competition February 22, 2019. Open to undergraduate students or recent graduates of ACC universities within one year of graduation from their undergraduate program.
  • Hult Prize Regionals: Competition December 6, 2018; regional teams announced January 2019. Open to undergraduate students.
  • Compete CNY: Applications due March 2019; competition March 29, 2019. Open to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Raymond von Dran iPrize: Applications due March 2019; competition March 29, 2019. Open to graduate and undergraduate students.
  • HBW Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award: Applications due March 2019; competition March 29, 2019. Open to undergraduate and graduate students at Syracuse competing in the iPrize.
  • New York Business Plan Competition: CNY teams submitted after Compete CNY qualifier Competition in Albany, typically the last weekend in April. Open to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • EO GSEA (Global Student Entrepreneur Awards): Applications due September 30, 2018; regionals in Buffalo, November 8, 2018. Open to undergraduate and graduate students who are business owners, founders or controlling shareholders, either ‘for-profit’ or social enterprise.

Over the past two years, Syracuse University students and alumni have won nearly $750,000 in business plan competitions, providing critical early stage seed funding to help them work on customer discovery, prototypes, business incorporation and patents, as well as other product and business development needs on the road from concept to commercialization.

The LaunchPad team, mentors, and professional service providers are available to help develop investment-ready business models, create more competitive pitches, and coach teams on the art of successful pitching.  Whitman and iSchool faculty, along with Falcone Center staff, are also available to help prep teams and provide feedback.

To learn more about the competitions, get details on the schedule, or schedule coaching sessions, visit or email

Bird Library to host “A Peace of My Mind” multimedia art exhibit

A Peace of My MindBird Library is hosting part of a multi-location arts project titled “A Peace of My Mind,” founded in 2009 by award-winning photographer John Noltner. The project is built around the concept of “what does peace mean to you?” and features portraits and personal stories of ordinary people that reveal extraordinary insights into how we can work toward common good and a more just world.

The exhibit opens at noon on Tuesday, September 4 in three locations: the Noble Room at Hendricks Chapel, the Life Sciences Atrium, and the Learning Commons on the first floor of Bird Library.

There is an opportunity to meet the artist on Thursday, September 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hendricks Chapel Noble Room. The exhibits close Sunday, September 9.

To find out more about the artist and the exhibit, visit

Issues in Digital Scholarship Forum lecture and panel discussion with Jill Rothstein

Jill RothsteinAs a part of the Syracuse University Libraries’ ongoing Issues in Digital Scholarship Forum series, Jill Rothstein, Chief Librarian at New York Public Library’s Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library, will be on campus in September for a lecture and panel discussion on accessibility and inclusion in today’s libraries.

A public lecture entitled, “Seeing the Whole Community: Serving Patrons with Print Disabilities Ages 0–100” will take place on Thursday, September 20 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at Bird Library (Room 114). Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be provided.

A panel discussion on “Serving Patrons with Print Disabilities” will take place on Friday, September 21 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Bird Library, Room 004. The panel will be moderated by Kate Deibel (Syracuse University Libraries), and participants will include Jill Rothstein (New York Public Library), Nicole Westerdahl (Syracuse University Libraries Special Collections Research Center), and John A. Mangicaro, (Syracuse University MakerSpace).

Jill Rothstein has been chief librarian of the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library for three years, co-led the committee for serving children with special needs, and co-led inclusion and advocacy training for New York Public Library. She has presented at the National Library Service conference, Metro Libraries conference, and Harvard’s World Heritage Strategy Forum. Prior to this role, she sang and did silly dances for toddlers as a children’s librarian and then did not sing as much as a neighborhood branch manager.

The Issues in Digital Scholarship Forum seeks to explore how scholars in different fields engage digital technologies as the subject matter of their research, in their research methods, their collaborative work, and the systems through which their research is disseminated and preserved. It also explores the ways in which the libraries, the university, and our technology infrastructure can support these modes of scholarship and sustain their future.

The events are sponsored by the Syracuse University Libraries, the Library and Information Science (LIS) Program at the Syracuse University iSchool, Syracuse University Humanities Center, and the Disability Cultural Center.

For more information, or if you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Patrick Williams at

Click the link below to view Jill’s presentation slides.




New 4th floor display on the events of 1918

Signing of the ArmisticeA new display titled 1918 Centennial can now be seen on the fourth floor of Bird Library. The display features Syracuse University Libraries and supplemental materials related to Woodrow Wilson and T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), and also includes brief descriptions of the 1918 influenza pandemic, the execution of the Romanovs, and the end of World War I. 1918 Centennial will remain up through the fall semester.

“Becoming International: Musings on Studying Abroad in America” book launch with New City Community Press

New City Community PressThe Syracuse University Libraries, English Language Institute (ELI) at Syracuse University, and the New City Community Press are hosting a book launch event to celebrate the upcoming publication of Becoming International: Musings on Studying Abroad in America. The event will be held on Thursday, September 20 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (room 114) of Bird Library.

Becoming International: Musings on Studying Abroad in America is a joint project of New City Community Press and the ELI at Syracuse University. Featuring personal reflections of past and current Syracuse University international students, the book aims to record their insights and experiences traveling abroad for their education, learning a new language and system of education, and developing their academic research skills in the current turbulent context of the United States.

At the book launch event, international students Joakim Olsen and Yuan (Caelyn) Cheng, and ELI ESL Instructor, Amy Walker will reflect upon their experiences and contributions to this new book. The event will also feature remarks from New City Community Press Director, Steve Parks and ELI Director, David Lind.

Founded by Syracuse University Associate Professor of Writing Steve Parks, the mission of New City Community Press is to provide opportunities for local communities to represent themselves by telling their stories in their own words. Today, New City has sponsored writing groups, after-school programs, and author assistance programs designed to support community writers and community organizations in their efforts to express a true vision of the streets on which they live. Its publications have gained a national and international audience, finding readers across the globe.

Light refreshments will be served. Copies of book will also be made available for purchase and signing at the event. For more information, please contact Tarida Anantachai at