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:

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

Help celebrate the spirit of innovation at SU next week!

A season of cheer with Bob Hupp

Join Syracuse Stage Artistic Director Bob Hupp on Wednesday, November 14 at 5 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons in Bird Library to hear about the exciting Syracuse Stage 2018/19 season of amazing plays and musicals including Elf the Musical — “the best way to spread holiday cheer.”

Please join us for a reception following Bob’s presentation celebrating the upcoming season of cheer as we give thanks for the vital role you play in the lives and success of our students.

This unique lecture and reception is co-produced by the College of Visual and Performing Arts and sponsored by the Syracuse University Libraries.

For additional information or if you need an accommodation to be able to fully participate in this event, please contact Bianca Caiella Breed at by Monday, November 12.

Elf the Musical runs from November 23, 2018 to January 6, 2019 at Syracuse Stage. For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the Box Office at 315.443.3275.

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.”