Global Entrepreneurship Week at SU Libraries, November 12-18

This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrates four themes— women, youth and inclusion in entrepreneurship, and connecting innovators and ecosystems from around the world.

One week each November, thousands of events in 170 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and investors.

Syracuse University is joining the celebration, powered by the Kauffman Foundation, with a lineup of campus and community events coordinated by the Blackstone LaunchPad at SU Libraries.

GEW Syracuse will showcase the rich innovation ecosystem on campus, and help connect campus entrepreneurs with local and global resource partners.  The LaunchPad will use the four themes to highlight powerful voices and innovators who promote, encourage and support the development of entrepreneurs within each of these four spaces.

  • GEW Women celebrates female entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, investors and other startup champions, while offering opportunities to expand their networks, identify resources and share knowledge with other women around the world.
  • GEW Youth inspires and shapes the next generation of innovators, stresses the importance of entrepreneurship education, helps blaze pathways of opportunity for business and civic leaders in an entrepreneurial world.
  • GEW Inclusion highlights the work startup champions are doing around the world to minimize barriers and obstacles for entrepreneurs by maximizing inclusion, valuing diversity and promoting access for all students to enhance equity and provide a platform for innovation and inclusion.
  • GEW Ecosystem Connect supports organizations around the world like the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars that facilitate collaboration and partnership between startup ecosystems.   Sharing knowledge and connecting local ecosystems with global resources, and bringing different cultural perspective together, is at the heart of building healthy and thriving entrepreneurial communities.

Here is a lineup of Syracuse events.  All are open to the community and free unless otherwise indicated.

Follow activities on social media:  Facebook:  LaunchPadSYR and Twitter:  @LaunchPadSYR, and read more about the events on the Blackstone LaunchPad news page: http://launchpad.syr.edu/news

Tag posts with the official Global Entrepreneurship Week hashtag — #GEW2018.

Help celebrate the spirit of innovation at SU next week!

Kayla Simon named LaunchPad Watson Scholar – Blackstone LaunchPad

Kayla Simon ‘19, an aerospace engineering major in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, will be the Blackstone LaunchPad Watson Scholar for the 2018-19 academic year.

Simon is an active and passionate entrepreneur on campus for the past year and a half, and is excited to be mentoring other students to develop ideas of their own.

In 2017, Simon became an innovator on campus, starting by winning first prize in the Invent@SU program with her co-inventor Elizabeth Tarangelo ’19 for their invention. In-Spire is a wearable aerosol inhaler perfect for on-the-go or emergency situations geared towards improving quality of life for asthma patients. It is a wristband with an asthma inhaler integrated inside of a stylish band that can carry smaller amounts of Albuterol, the medication that aids in keeping the airways of the throat open. Since the team developed and pitched their prototype at demo day of Invent@SU, the invention has received positive feedback, which led to Simon and Tarangelo pushing forward to make this invention a tangible product.

From there, Simon came to the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars, part of SU Libraries.  Working with the LaunchPad and a team of professional advisors, Simon and Tarangelo have gone on to create a New York State LLC — In-Spire Health – and have won business plans including first place in the Syracuse University Panasci Business Plan Competition, RvD iPrize, Impact Prize, and the campus ACC InVenture Prize.  They also represented Syracuse University at the New York State Business Plan Competition, capturing a Women’s Business Award. They were most recently accepted into the prestigious CNY Biotech Accelerator Medical Device Innovation Challenge.

Along with entrepreneurship, Simon is passionate about the space industry, and recently interned at startup Virgin Orbit in Mojave, California, where she met billionaire and serial entrepreneur Richard Branson.  She is equally passionate about music and photography.  Her energy and charisma makes her a standout, and she is a natural mentoring other creatives, inventors, dreamers and doers.

“Being an entrepreneur, I’ve been able to gain skills I couldn’t have dreamed of, yet I’m still learning every day,” she says. “From all the knowledge I’ve gained over the past year, I’d love to be able to pay that forward and help navigate this process for students who are just starting to develop their ideas.”

It is common to see Simon working in the LaunchPad with students on pitches for business plan competitions, or guiding them through the first steps of thinking about creative ideas. She brings zeal, imagination and intellect – along with incredible patience and empathy, and a great sense of humor.

When she is not doing that, she is working on her own startup, practicing pitches for competitions she is competing in, or meeting with mentors.  And, equally important, studying aerospace engineering, because at heart she is a rocket scientist who brings an incredible sense of curiosity and exploration to everything she does.

Through her time as an entrepreneur on campus and in the Upstate community, she knew she wanted to be able to help others make an impact in her community, which led to apply for the Watson Scholar position.

The LaunchPad Watson Scholar role is funded through a generous gift to Syracuse University Libraries from the Hunter Brooks Watson Memorial Fund with the intention for the Watson Scholar to honor the life, passion, and entrepreneurial spirit of Hunter Brooks Watson.

Inspired by Syracuse University’s Remembrance Scholar program to honor the spirit and lives of those lost in the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster, which sprung a beautiful relationship that has changed lives in many ways, the Watson Scholar is a way to honor the life and entrepreneurial spirit of Hunter Brooks Watson, a Syracuse University student who passed away after injuries suffered in a tragic 2016 car accident. He was a rising junior majoring in Information Management and Technology at the iSchool. A passionate entrepreneur, he was interested in music, (playing multiple instruments, performing, recording and producing music videos), sports, and technology. He was especially interested in the emerging field of big data and had been working on new ventures related to predictive data.

Simon will be working with the LaunchPad to help peer mentor students who are in the process of creating and developing their own ideas for ventures, along with helping with awards programs and competitions.

What drew Simon to the position was the meaning behind the position, along with a love of mentorship and impact within the world. In 2012, two of Simon’s friends passed away in a tragic car accident while on their way to a show for their band. “They were passionate about music, science, and leadership, and their love for what they did inspired us every day.” The passing of her friends gave Simon a new perspective on how she views life and friendship, along with opportunity. After her hometown created a memorial in their memory, where anyone can go and remember what they had meant to the community, Simon said, “Having their legacy still vibrant in the community they served and cared for so greatly has given us the ability to keep them alive in a small way.”

Simon is incredibly excited to get started working with students, and really cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit here at Syracuse University. “Innovation is innate in all of us,” she says, “We just sometimes need a push or a resource to access it.”

The CLLCTVE Agency, LLC, wins $5,000 first ever ’Cuse Tank competition at SU Libraries MedUX and Promptous tie for second prize, winning $2,500 each

The first event ‘Cuse Tank —co-sponsored by the Blackstone LaunchPad and Syracuse University Libraries—celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of SU innovators this past Family Weekend.  A distinguished panel of parent judges who are successful entrepreneurs from a variety of industry sectors voted on finalist teams, selected from scores of applicants who vied for $10,000 in prizes.

The contestants came from across campus, including the Newhouse School, the Falk College, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Whitman School and the School of Information Studies.

‘Cuse Tank winners are:

$5,000 first prize —  CLLCTVE Agency LLC

CLLCTVE is a creative agency that connects brands with college students who can create transmedia content.  CLLCTVE repositions brands for success, while simultaneously nurturing the freelance community on college campuses across the country. Clients have included Coca-Cola, Land Rover, PUMA and Syracuse University. The team is already working with 50 universities and expanding to more. — Kelsey Davis and Ryan Williams, co-founders

$2,500 second prize —  MedUX

MedUX is a wearable, lightweight IV shoulder device. First place winner of the 2018 Invent@SU program, MedUX’s portable IV system allows people who need infusion treatment to receive it without being tethered to a traditional pole-mounted unit. It is particularly suited for stand-alone infusion centers, cancer centers, post-op hospital settings and palliative care where a patient needs intravenous delivery but also wants to be more mobile and comfortable. The lightweight shoulder-mounted device uses a pressure flow system to control a desired flow rate without the use of electronics or heavy batteries that need to be frequently changed.  — Alec Gillinder and Quinn King, co-founders

$2,500 second prize – Promptous

Promptous is an insurance claims processing platform using blockchain technology and smart contracts to create transparency, predictability and prompt payment. Promptous eliminates the need for a costly third-party benefits administrator, and its streamlined system, targeted for the dental insurance industry, is simpler, easier to understand, and creates secure transactions in a regulatory compliant platform. — Joshua Jackson, Timothy Kelly, Phil McKnight, co-founders

CLLCTVE also hosted a successful, widely attended conference for creatives, “Art of Finesse,” at Newhouse as part of Family Weekend activities.  The education and networking event featured industry advisors who spoke on an array of topics relative to honing a creative lifestyle and capitalizing on talents in productive ways.  Keynote speakers and panelists included  Evin Robinson, co-founder of New York on Tech, Tiffany Bender, senior producer at Teen Vogue,  and Jonathan Jackson,  co-founder of BLAVITY.

“It was truly humbling to win this award amongst so many other great companies,” said Kelsey Davis. “Ryan and I moved to Syracuse in July for the sole purpose of getting plugged into the SU innovation ecosystem as soon as possible. Since then, we have been working extremely closely with our advisors and the Blackstone LaunchPad to build an agency that develops collegiate creatives, in partnership with universities across the country.  We are excited to develop creative solutions for brands looking to reach the Generation Z consumer market.  Thanks to the Blackstone LaunchPad, we’re off to a great start, but this is just the beginning.”

“I continue to be impressed with the quality and creativity of the many SU students who make use of the Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library,” said David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, “and am very grateful to the parents who gave their time last week to work with the library on this competition.”

Come to ‘Cuse Tank, Friday, October 26: Family Weekend kicks off with a lively student innovation competition at Bird Library

The “Elite Eight” finalists for the first ever ‘Cuse Tank will vie in a Shark Tank style prize competition on Friday, October 26 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Bird Library.  The event is co-sponsored by the Blackstone LaunchPad and Syracuse University Libraries, and all are invited to watch the pitches and show support for the teams.

A distinguished panel of judges who are SU parents and successful entrepreneurs from a wide variety of industry sectors voted on “Sweet Sixteen” semi-finalists from scores of applications, narrowing the field down to the “Elite Eight” who will pitch for $10,000 in prizes this Friday.

The event is the kick-off to SU Family Weekend, and an opportunity for families who are visiting from around the country, and around the world, to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of SU innovators.

In Family Weekend spirit, two brothers are competing in ‘Cuse Tank.  Will McKnight, founder of Farm to Flame, will face off against Phil McKnight, co-founder of Promptous in the finals.

“The library is delighted to showcase innovative student ideas from across campus,” said David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, “and to bring to bear the services of the Blackstone LaunchPad to help these designers and inventors develop their services and products.  We are particularly grateful to SU parents for their willingness to participate in this exciting event!”

The contestants come from across campus, including the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the David B. Falk College of Sport & Human Dynamics, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the College of Visual & Performing Arts, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, and the School of Information Studies.  In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Cllctve Agency, LLC, a creative agency that connects brands with strategy content and college creatives who can execute transmedia content. CLLCTVE connects revolutionary strategic concepts with collaborative transmedia content to reposition brands for success, while simultaneously nurturing the freelance community on college campuses across the country.  Clients have included Coca-Cola, Land Rover, PUMA and Syracuse University.  The team is already working with 50 universities and expanding to more.  — Kelsey Davis and Ryan Williams, co-founders.
  •  Farm to Flame Energy, a smokeless, odorless, biomass-powered generator, providing energy to off-the grid communities. Winner of several campus impact competitions, as well as a regional finalist for the prestigious Hult Prize competition, Farm to Flame is a fully patented generator and grinder system that can provide power to off-the grid communities in Africa, Asia, and remote portions of North America.  Farm to Flame generators are smokeless and odorless, and can use any feedstock or agricultural waste.  They can also provide reliability to disaster-prone communities that need secure and resilient backup energy to supplement electricity delivery.  — Will McKnight, founder.
  • FibreFree, a device that traps microfibers shed from synthetic clothing to prevent them from entering oceans and aquifers.  Winner of the campus Impact Prize, and finalist for the Dyson Innovation Competition, FibreFree developed its prototype through the Invent@SU program.  FibreFree traps tiny plastic microfibers that are shed from synthetic clothing before they go into the water system and make their way into the food chain.  FibreFree resembles a conventional laundry ball, but its unique porous shell and novel filter, made of 100% recyclable materials, traps microfibers in the laundry process.   — Charles Keppler and Serena Omo-Lamai, co-founders.
  • In-Spire, a wearable and refillable bracelet style asthma inhaler that can deliver an emergency dose. First place winner of the 2017 Invent@SU program, In-Spire also won first place in SU’s Impact Prize, RvD/iPrize, and Panasci Business Plan Competition, and was the campus nominee to the ACC InVenture competition.  The team, which has filed a non-provisional patent, is working to commercialize its stylish bracelet that integrates a small refillable inhaler and provides on-the-go relief, particularly for exercise- induced asthma.  Technical advisors are helping the team develop a strategy for FDA approval.  — Kayla Simon and Elizabeth Tarangelo, co-founders.
  • MedUX, a wearable, lightweight IV shoulder device. First place winner of the 2018 Invent@SU program, MedUX designed a wearable, portable IV system that allows people who need infusion treatment to receive it without being tethered to a traditional pole-mounted unit. It is particularly suited for stand-alone infusion centers, cancer centers, post-op hospital settings, and palliative care where a patient needs intravenous delivery, but also wants to be more mobile and comfortable. It can also be used in emergency and disaster situations where IV systems mounted on poles are not practical. Using new and pre-existing technologies, the lightweight shoulder-mounted device uses a pressure flow system to control a desired flow rate without the use of electronics or heavy batteries that need to be frequently changed.  — Alec Gillinder and Quinn King, co-founders.
  • OptechVR, a standalone, affordable social VR headset.  For applications from gaming to medicine, to education and enterprise, there is an opportunity to create a better, more affordable all-in-one VR headset that offers a multi-user experience.  OptechVR is a plug-and-play, all-in-one device, eliminating the need for high-powered external computers or game consoles, or wires. It incorporates dual hand and room tracking technology, replacing complicated controllers with the user’s hand movement.  It can connect to other headsets, enabling users to work in teams or experience VR together.  — Matt Shumer and Sam Hollander, co-founders.
  • Prioritage, a platform for triage and real-time patient monitoring in emergencies. In events such as mass casualty situations, disasters, or large crowded ER rooms, a patient’s condition can deteriorate rapidly after initial triage, especially if there is a high ratio of patients to medical professionals.  Prioritage, a first place winner of the NYC Invent@SU program, is a wearable armband that monitors a patient’s vital signs to detect changes after triage, sending wireless alerts if conditions change, and suggesting prioritized treatment based on the rate of change post initial assessment. — Angelica O’Hara and Ibnul Rafi, co-founders.
  • Promptous, an insurance claims processing platform using blockchain technology and smart contracts to create transparency, more predictability, and prompt payment. Promptous eliminates the need for a costly third party benefits administrator, and its streamlined system, targeted for the dental insurance industry, is simpler, easier to understand, and creates secure transactions in a regulatory compliant platform. — Joshua Jackson, Timothy Kelly, Phil McKnight, co-founders.

Book talk and signing with Dave Knox, author of ‘Predicting the Turn’ on September 18

Dave Knox - Predicting the TurnDave Knox, Grand Prix Winner of the WPP Atticus Award for his book, Predicting The Turn: The High Stakes Game of Business Between Startups and Blue Chips will share his insights at a book talk and signing on Tuesday, September 18 from 10-11 a.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (room 114) at Bird Library.

Knox will discuss the new high-stakes game between disruptive startups and Blue Chip companies, teaching readers how to foresee the future, especially in an era of accelerated change.

While visiting the University, Knox will also speak with entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises classes and visit the campus entrepreneurship club.

Knox is considered an expert at disruption and innovation, and his book has been hailed as the rulebook on how to compete with a new breed of competitors playing the game by an entirely different set of rules.

“The Fortune 500 was first published in 1955, and since that time, 89 percent of the list has completely turned over,” Knox says. “When the S&P 500 was launched in 1958, the average company remained in the index for roughly 61 years. Today, an S&P 500 company is being replaced about once every two weeks.”

He makes the point that the game is not just for the tech giants and unicorns of the Silicon Valley. “Start in your own backyards. Innovation is happening in every pocket of the world, in cities and states and in countries across the globe, and you can’t just think that innovation is just a Silicon Valley thing. It’s happening everywhere.”

As a brand marketer, venture investor and startup advisor, Knox provides insight into the changing relationship between startups and Fortune 500 companies. He is considered a global thought leader in digital transformation, marketing innovation and how to meet inevitable disruption head-on–particularly if big companies develop startup-thinking skills.

“Incumbents have an opportunity to disrupt the disruptors. By taking inspiration from a startup or innovative competitor, big companies can use their scale, brand, and financial resources to launch a new effort,” he writes, but only if “the leaders of yesterday learn the rules of an entirely new game of business.”

A veteran of Procter & Gamble, managing director of WPP Ventures, CMO of Rockfish, cofounder of The Brandery venture accelerator, startup advisor, blogger and author, he frequently publishes in AdWeek, Forbes, iMedia, AdAge and Entrepreneur.

“Today, the largest companies in the world are finding themselves in the middle of a high stakes game of business between startup companies and the Fortune 500 where the bet is the very future of these big companies,” Knox says. “I wrote the book to drive a conversation around the changing relationship between startups and Fortune 500 companies, and to unlock an entirely new way for smaller companies to compete on a level playing field.”

The event, co-sponsored by the Blackstone LaunchPad and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, is free of charge and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, or if you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact launchpad@syr.edu at least one week prior to the event date.