2018 RvD iPrize winners announced

40 student teams were selected to pitch at the iPrize event held in Bird Library on March 23.

Winners have been announced for the 2018 RvD iPrize competition, held March 23 at Syracuse University. The event, sponsored by the School of Information Studies (iSchool), was coordinated by the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University and hosted at Syracuse University Libraries. Judges included alumni, successful entrepreneurs, technologists, attorneys, and area business and civic leaders.

More than 55 teams applied to compete in this year’s event, with 40 selected to pitch at the event, which offered $40,000 in prizes through the Raymond von Dran (RvD) Fund for Student Entrepreneurship at the iSchool. This year, an additional $10,000 was also awarded in inaugural Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards through an additional gift to the iSchool by a private family foundation.

The RvD iPrize also served as the regional qualifier for the 2018 New York State Business Plan Competition, and 12 student teams were selected to advance to that prestigious event in Albany on April 27.

The RvD Fund was established to honor the memory of the former iSchool dean, who helped students bring their ideas to life through the spirit of entrepreneurship. Gisela von Dran, his widow, helped award iPrizes with iSchool Dean Liz Liddy at this year’s event.

“We are grateful to Gisela von Dran for her continued support of the entrepreneurial spirit at Syracuse University through the RvD fund,” said iSchool Dean Liz Liddy. “I was delighted to watch our students compete at the event, and the RvD iPrize funds will help ensure that they can keep their ventures moving forward.”

“It is wonderful to see so many innovative student teams from across our schools and colleges and from ESF coming together in a thriving entrepreneurship community in the SU Libraries, and benefiting from the services of the Blackstone LaunchPad,” said Dean of Libraries David Seaman. “I know these prizes will make a significant difference to these young innovators and inventors, and I was impressed with the creativity, professionalism, and collegiality they displayed in this competition.”

Winners included:

Sustainable and social entrepreneurship

Drop Top, founded by Jason Kuperberg ’18, College of Arts and Sciences, Serena DeSeta ’18, Whitman School of Management and Matthew Goodman ’19, College of Visual and Performing Arts; an ingenious design, made entirely of REVLAR that increases agricultural output while conserving water through drip irrigation; won $3,000.

FibreFree, founded by Serena Omo-Lamai ’19 and Charles Keppler ’19, both College of Engineering a Computer Science; a laundry ball that traps microfibers, preventing them from entering aquifers and the atmosphere; won $3,000.

Farm to Flame, founded by Lee Mendes McKnight ’18, Maxwell School, with team members Kwaku Jyamfi ’18, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Sayje Lasenberry ’19, SUNY ESF; a smokeless, odorless biomass generator system that leverages locally grown crops to harness the power of energy and build more sustainable rural economies; won $3,000.

Rematriation Magazine, founded Michelle Schenandoah G‘18, Newhouse School, with operations manager Janet Flores ’18, Maxwell School; a digital storytelling platform powered by a sisterhood of Haudenosaunee women, where indigenous women gather for collective healing from historical and current traumas; won $500.

Food for Community, founded by Samantha Guillaume ’18 and Patrick Carleton ’18, both SUNY ESF; a not-for-profit that transports unused food from local schools to local pantries; won $500.

Services

Starfruit, founded by Nathan Elequin G 18, School of Education; a consulting service that offers workshops, online content, and support services for schools and districts in Austin, Texas that want to integrate Google Classroom in their instruction; won $6,000.

Fresh U, founded by Kate Beckman, G18, Newhouse School; a national online publication for college students with a focus on the freshman year, with 100,000 unique monthly visitors and 400 nationally distributed content creators; won $4,000.

Products

In-Spire, founded by Kayla Simon’19 and Elizabeth Tarangelo ’19, both College of Engineering and Computer Science; a wearable Albuterol inhaler for asthma patients who suffer from asthma attacks while on the go; won $6,000..

Anything But Beer, co-founded by Logan Bonney G’17, Whitman and Brittany Berry ’18, College of Visual and Performing Arts; brews alcohol beverages to meet the needs of niche consumer markets that are not served by the craft brewery business, including those who are gluten-free; won $3,500.

Bonfire in a Bin, co-founded by Will DeVito ’20, Newhouse and Nick Gold ’18, Falk; an all-in-one bonfire starter kit that is collapsible for easy storage and transport; won $500.

Software/IT

Weather Optics, founded by Scott Pecoriello ’20, Arts and Sciences; a disruptive weather and data analytics company; won $5,000.

Ravle, founded by Tay Lotte ’19, Creative Leadership, University College, and Kevin Rieck ’19, Knowledge Management, University College; platform that allows travelers to customize and book full trips through travel videos created by the world’s top travel filmmakers; won $3,000.

ModoScript, founded by David Zuleta ’18, College of Arts and Sciences; a pill-safe system that is a device and software platform for physicians, health insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare facilities, government agencies, and law enforcement organizations aimed at combating and reducing costs associated with prescription drug abuse and patient non-adherence; won $2,000.

Stories containing additional information can be found online as follows:

Additions and Expansions to the Principal Collection

The Libraries’ have added many new and expanded resources to the Principal Collection to support your research and teaching.

AustLit
Provides access to information on Australian literature and authors, as part of a collaborative effort by the University of Queensland and numerous institutions. Covers Australian literature and storytelling, with biographies, manuscripts, and articles in full text, along with images, digital exhibitions, and more.

Comprehensive Biomaterials II
A seven volume set on all facets of biomaterials, articles address the current status of nearly all biomaterials in the field, their strengths and weaknesses, their future prospects, appropriate analytical methods and testing, device applications and performance, emerging candidate materials as competitors and disruptive technologies, research and development, regulatory management, commercial aspects, and applications, including medical applications.

IGI Global Teaching Cases
These cases include an executive summary, background information, project description, current status of the case/project, epilogue and lessons learned, additional resources for further research covering real-life examples of global implementation, utilization, and management of Information Science and Technology.

Jewish Studies Source
Provides access to numerous multidisciplinary publications on the study of Jewish civilization, from past to present. Offers full-text articles from journals, magazines and newspapers, as well as books and biographies. Among the subjects covered are Judaism, Jewish history and heritage, mysticism, Kabbalah, and Jewish philosophy.

UC Press Journals
UC Press Journals includes scholarship that spans many topics in the humanities and social sciences. It also includes Case Studies in the Environment, peer-reviewed case study articles, case study pedagogy articles, and case study slides on best practices in the environmental sciences and studies.

New Journal titles:

New ebooks:

For additional information on accessing these resources, please use the Ask Us! page or contact your subject librarian. To suggest a new resource to the Libraries, use the Suggest a Title form from the Collections page.

SparkCharge raises capital and joins Techstars

SparkCharge has officially “launched” from the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University to acceleration stage with Techstars in Boston.  The startup has achieved a significant milestone, growing from a college student’s idea, to an award-winning company that has won several awards and raised institutional funding, and is now part of an accelerator program internationally known for rapidly scaling great companies. The latest investment round closed in February and the clean tech hardware startup expects to raise another round later this year.

Joshua Aviv, founder and CEO of SparkCharge, developed a portable, ultrafast charging unit for electric vehicles that fits in the trunk of a car and charges at level 3 speed, giving users one mile every 60 seconds.

Winning a spot in the Techstars Boston startup accelerator gives a competitive boost for the growing company. In the last 10 years, more than 1,000 Techstars portfolio companies have collectively raised over $4.4 billion in total funding, and are now valued at $11.4 billion.  Fewer than 1% of all companies that apply to a Techstars program are accepted into the worldwide network that inspires, educates and connects entrepreneurs, accelerating innovation and startup activity.

Aviv, a graduate of Syracuse University, conceived his idea as an undergraduate student, working with the campus-wide innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“The Techstars accelerator program builds on the solid startup foundation we received through Syracuse University’s amazing innovation ecosystem,” says Aviv. “Having a well-connected and collaborative support network at SU helped us move from idea to venture, and positioned us to now scale to the next stage. We intend to stay engaged with SU as we grow.”

“SparkCharge is joining a vibrant group of entrepreneurs,” said Clement Cazalot, managing director for the Techstars Boston Accelerator. “Our Boston program has helped launch and fund 144 startups, with north of $750 million in total funding. Josh is now part of the most connected and successful entrepreneurial network in the world, as well as Boston’s very active angel network and VC industry that is focusing more on earlier stage tech innovation, enabling access to funds at all stages of development.”

“Each year we select the most promising companies to join our three-month mentorship-driven accelerator,” said David Cohen, founder and CEO of Techstars. “SparkCharge will now be part of the Techstars community for life, with access to over 1,500,000 founders, investors, mentors, and industry leaders. Leveraging the combined power of Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars resources and connections, SparkCharge and other high-growth startups are surrounded and supported by a team of experts who can help them quickly start and scale.”

“We’re in Techstars to learn, grow, and network,” Aviv says. “We’re excited to bring this product to market, and working with this network will help us get to commercialize our technology faster and better.”

Through Techstars, Aviv and his team of four engineers are getting hands-on help and mentorship from experts in multiple fields, while working out of spaces such as Mass Robotics. A first-time CEO, Aviv says access to an international pool of knowledgeable and experienced mentors is already advancing SparkCharge to a new level.  “We want to keep a presence in Boston. We’ve fallen in love with the city,” Aviv says. “The startup ecosystem here is awesome.”

However, Aviv says the startup is not leaving its home in Syracuse. Personal connections and the manufacturing industry in Syracuse has strong pulls on the startup. “Our roots are in Syracuse and we want to tap into the manufacturing and industrial base there,” Aviv says. He expects to keep his research, engineering, testing and manufacturing based in the region, while focusing sales and finance operations in the Boston area where there is cluster of supportive investors. He particularly values his research collaboration with the SyracuseCoE, which is home base for his engineering team, research fellows and interns. His goal is to create regional impact. “To me, entrepreneurship means having a great social impact on every layer of our society. As entrepreneurs, we have the ability to create change in our communities faster and on a deeper level than many other people.”

In the meantime, SparkCharge is signing up electric vehicle owners to participate in testing their beta product. Answering questions and collecting feedback from users with various electric car models, the engineers are refining the product leading up to a manufacturing run later this year.

Supporting this growth is an investment by PJC, a Boston-based venture capital firm that focuses on consumer and enterprise technology investments. PJC takes an active approach to investing, striving to build collaborative relationships with portfolio company management. They have constructed the firm and their team around the strategy of building market-leading companies with innovative founders and serial entrepreneurs. The firm and its partners have backed market-leading companies across multiple industries such as Nest Labs, Yandex, Expensify and GetWellNetwork.

“We are excited to partner with Josh and the entire SparkCharge team,” said Mike Cunningham, a Principal at PJC. “They have the drive, conviction and vision necessary to solve the problems faced in this rapidly expanding market. We look forward to working with the SparkCharge team and Techstars to help bring their idea to the electric vehicle community.”

“Josh and SparkCharge is a perfect example of the transformational impact that Blackstone envisions Techstars will have on our LaunchPad program,” said Alisha Slye, global director of Blackstone LaunchPad.  “Their content, mentorship and network will provide expanded access for more LaunchPad ventures to grow and scale. Blackstone applauds Syracuse University’s leadership and commitment to entrepreneurship in our growing global LaunchPad network which we will now be able to scale to over one million student with Techstars support.”

SparkCharge’s success follows 2017 accomplishments that included:  Blackstone LaunchPad/Techstars Demo Day, First Place; FuzeHub Commercialization Competition, First Place; Innovation Fund Award, SyracuseCoE; New York State Business Plan Competition, Grand Prize; New York State Business Plan Competition, Clean Tech Winner; Raymond Von Dran iPrize, First Place Winner Clean Tech; and Panasci Business Plan Competition 2017, Winner of Product Innovation Prize and Sustainability Award.

Aviv’s plans for 2018 include final design and testing of the beta unit, manufacturing and unit sales.  SparkCharge is currently taking beta test orders: spcev.com/forms/betatest/

Read more about SparkCharge here and at spcev.com. Contact: Josh Aviv, sparkcharge@spcev.com

Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Techstars announced this week at SXSW EDU that they are teaming up to supercharge Blackstone LaunchPad, the preeminent campus-based entrepreneurship program.  Read details here.

Digitalia Hispanica

To complement its growing print and digital collections, the Libraries have added Digitalia Hispanica, a global academic database of e-books and e-journals in Spanish, with access to thousands of sources from publishers such as Anthropos, Biblioteca Nueva, Calambur, El Ruedo Iberico. New publishers are being added each year. The comprehensive Spanish language collection contains a wide range of titles related to science, social science, history, philosophy, political science, art, literature, and linguistics.

Digitalia Hispanica includes journal coverage for titles such as Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, Hispanica, and Revista de Literatura.

The collection is searchable in Spanish or English. The texts can be read, downloaded,or listened to in Spanish or translated to English. The site is similar to Summon, offering many search options and filtering by the subject.

For further reading:

GOBI(R) Library Solutions from EBSCO Partners with Digitalia Hispanica to Provide Spanish E-Book Content through GOBI(R).” PRWeb Newswire 2 Feb. 2017. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 9 Mar. 2018

Ann Skiold, Librarian for Fine Arts, Spanish and Italian Language and Literature.

Visual History Archive (USC Shoah Foundation and ProQuest)

In 1994, Steven Spielberg, director of the film “Schindler’s List,” established the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation at the University of Southern California (USC), with a goal to “record on videotape the testimonies of 50,000 survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust from around the world for educational purposes before it was too late.” This initial undertaking was completed in 1999.

While most of the original 51,696 Holocaust testimonies in the Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive came from Jewish Holocaust survivors, testimonies were also obtained from survivors of persecution against the Sinti and Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals, from survivors of Nazi eugenics policies, and from political prisoners and forced laborers, as well as from rescuers and aid providers, liberators, and participants in war crimes trials.  Subsequently, in keeping with the Shoah Foundation’s mission “to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of the Visual History Archive,” the Archive was expanded to include testimonies provided by eyewitnesses to a number of other genocides.

The Visual History Archive provides access to a fully streaming video collection of indexed primary-source testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides.  Within this archive, the largest of its kind, “history is preserved as told by the people who lived it,” and “the vast majority of the testimonies contain a complete personal history of life before, during, and after interviewees’ firsthand experience with genocide.”  (A supplementary feature enables the user to connect to contextual and related materials in other ProQuest databases.)

Total number of items: More than 54,400 video testimonies at an average of two hours each.

[Subcollections:] the European Holocaust, 1939-1945 (52,309 interviews); the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923 (334 interviews); the Tutsi Genocide in Rwanda, 1994 (86 interviews); the Nanjing Massacre, 1937-1938 (30 interviews); the Guatemalan Genocide, 1978-1996 (10 interviews); and the Cambodian Genocide, 1975-1979 (5 interviews)]

  • Roughly 116,000 hours of film
  • Transcripts being added over time (initially over 900 German transcripts and almost 1,000 English transcripts)
  • Almost 65,000 index terms in English
  • Over 719,000 images (photographs, documents, works of art, artifacts from war, etc.)
  • 9 million names of family members and prominent figures
  • Roughly 49,000 location references
  • 2,500 recitations of literary works (poems, letters, diaries)
  • Over 2,100 musical recitals
  • Date range: 1915-1996
  • Geographic/language information: The filmed interviews were conducted in 63 countries in more than 40 different languages.  Over 27,000 testimonies are in English.

Examples of uses:  The Visual History Archive has served as a major resource for history and genealogy researchers, including individuals drawing on Archive content in producing dissertations and theses, publications, and documentary films.  In addition, curricula across a multiplicity of disciplines, in a variety of educational settings from secondary schools to colleges and universities, have made use of Visual History Archive material.  Examples of instructional use:

French Literature teaching example

Graphic Art teaching example

Additional information:

 

Lydia Wasylenko, Librarian for Citizenship and Humanities, Syracuse University Libraries