Syracuse University student entrepreneurs win big at the New York Business Plan Competition

Syracuse University student entrepreneurship teams dominated the eighth annual New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC), which took place on Friday, April 28, 2017 at SUNY Poly’s NanoTech Complex in Albany. Syracuse teams captured the $100,000 grand prize as well as taking first-place honors in four out of the six main categories. No institution in the competition’s history has achieved this level of success at a single event.

More than 400 student-led teams applied for the statewide competition. Friday’s final featured 103 teams that advanced through regional semifinal rounds that were held across the state.

The statewide NYBPC offers the largest prizes of any student business competition in the world — a total of $160,000 was awarded at this year’s competition. Winners were selected by expert judges, including venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, public and private investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs. Syracuse University student teams came home with $140,000 of the prize money, competing against teams from 60 colleges and universities representing the 10 Regional Economic Development Council zones (Capital Region, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Long Island). Winners were selected by expert judges that included venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, public and private investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs.

The Syracuse prize winners:

  • $100,000 Grand Prize: Spark Charge—Josh Aviv, Bryan Christopher Morris, and Jaydeep Sathe; portable, fast-charging battery unit for electric vehicles; http://www.spcev.com.
  • $10,000 First Place, Clean Technology: Spark Charge: http://www.spcev.com.
  • $10,000 First Place, Social Entrepreneurship/Non-profit: Thrive Project—Ryan Brinkerhoff, Brian Kam, Josh Moon, Khalid Bin Ayaz Khan, Amanda Chou; empowering underserved communities through education and skills training for sustainability; http://thriveproject.org.
  • $10,000 First Place, Service: IIID—Jack Phillips; 3D printed architectural elements for the historic preservation industry.
  • $10,000 First Place, Software/IT: Power Spike—AJ Damiano; influencer marketplace for live streamers; http://power-spike.com.

Syracuse University teams also won the following prestigious NYBPC awards:

  • Undergraduate Excellence Award: Busie—Seth Samowitz, Louis Bookoff, and Joshua Bain; quoting and booking app for charter bus operators.
  • People’s Choice Award: Shine the Magazine—Michaela Anne Quigley; online publication for teenagers and young adults with disabilities.
  • Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise  Awards: Origin Story—Analise Sesay; subscription service of artist/maker products for niche consumer market; Modo Script—David Zuleta; smart pill device integrated with technology platform to combat prescription drug abuse.

Compete CNY, the NYBPC qualifying competition for the Central New York region, was held in March and was organized by the Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad, whose staff also accompanied the teams to Albany last week.  “The Blackstone LaunchPad has provided business planning expertise, mentorship, collaboration space, and presentation guidance to teams across Syracuse University,” said Dean of Libraries David Seaman, “and we are delighted at the impact this new library service has had in its first year of operation.”

As an incentive for Syracuse University teams to participate in the qualifying competition, the School of Information Studies (iSchool) offered $40,000 in prize money from the Raymond von Dran Fund for Student Entrepreneurship (RvD iPrize). RVD iPrize award winners who went on to success in the statewide competition included IIID ($6,000), PowerSpike ($5,000), Spark Charge ($4,500), Modo Script ($3,500), Thrive Project ($3,000), Busie ($3,000), Shine the Magazine ($1,500), and Origin Story ($1,000).

“I am pleased to see our iPrize winners continuing on to sweep so many of the top spots at the statewide competition,” remarked iSchool Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy. “Many of these students were participants in our Information Technology, Design, and Startups minor or spent summers at the Syracuse Student Sandbox working on their companies. I am proud to see their efforts and hard work being so handsomely rewarded.”

Spark Charge also won $10,000 in the Whitman School’s recent Panasci Business Plan Competition—$2,500 as the third place overall winner; $5,000 for the Fetner Prize for Sustainable Enterprise; and $2,500 for the Goldberg Prize for Technology & Innovation.

“We are extremely proud of our student entrepreneurs and what they have accomplished together,” says Alexander McKelvie, Chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises in the Whitman School.”I believe that this truly is a result of bringing together educational resources, funding, and mentors from across the entire SU campus. The diversity in ideas and industries is impressive and underscores the idea that entrepreneurship is a viable path forward for students from every background and school. SU clearly is leading the charge in entrepreneurship education across the state.”

Syracuse University Press awarded NEH/Mellon Humanities Open Book grant

Syracuse University Press, a division of Syracuse University Libraries, is one of eight institutions to be awarded a grant in the Humanities Open Book Program, jointly sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant program will make outstanding out-of-print humanities books available to a wide audience by recreating them as open access ebooks.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries, and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who, through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of history and culture to Americans.”

“We are delighted that Syracuse University has received this grant, which supports core library values such as open access to scholarship and quality academic publishing,” said Dean of Libraries David Seaman.  SU Press will digitize 23 titles from its Irish Studies and New York State series. The new ebooks will be available through multiple platforms, including Project MUSE Open and Syracuse University’s SURFACE repository.

“Syracuse University Press welcomes this opportunity to make available digital editions of widely-reviewed and cited early histories of New York State, along with noteworthy books from our Irish Studies series that remain relevant to today’s scholars and students,” said Alice Randel Pfeiffer, director of Syracuse University Press.

“We are honored and grateful to the NEH for this chance to bring important books of humanistic interest back into conversation with current scholarship, and to make them openly available to a global community of readers,” said Suzanne E. Guiod, editor-in-chief of the Press. “Significantly, this grant will allow us to further our collaboration with Syracuse University Libraries in developing Syracuse Unbound, our joint open access publishing initiative.”

“This award presents an outstanding opportunity for SU Press to resurface and vivify important works from its prestigious backlist, said Terry Ehling, associate director of Project MUSE. “Project MUSE looks forward to working with the Press to ensure that these books are discoverable, usable, and potentially transformative to scholars now and in the future.”

ABOUT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY PRESS

Syracuse University Press was founded in 1943 by Chancellor William Pearson Tolley as a means to publish and disseminate scholarly research and to extend Syracuse University’s reach and academic reputation. The Press has gained national and international acclaim by publishing award-winning and ground-breaking books. With more than 1,700 titles in print, the Press supports the central mission of the University to teach, to support research initiatives, and to disseminate scholarship. The Press also prides itself on publishing carefully edited and beautifully designed books that enhance the intellectual life of general readers.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

This project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Special Collections Research Center plays central role in University’s new graphic identity

goudy-sherman_1The Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries is pleased to announce that Syracuse University’s new branding utilizes a Goudy-inspired typeface derived from original materials in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC).

William La Moy, curator of rare books and manuscripts in the SCRC, has spent the last several years researching the deep relationship between Syracuse University and revered American printer and designer Frederic Goudy. La Moy’s research revealed an important piece of University history and, ultimately, led to a distinctive new typeface to represent the University.

In 1934, Syracuse University School of Journalism Dean M. Lyle Spencer knew of Goudy’s importance and thought it would be a good idea for the new journalism program to form an association with an important American type designer. Spencer approached Goudy, who lived in the Hudson Valley, and he became interested in the fledgling program. Along with being asked to join the faculty and become a consultant, Goudy was awarded a medal for typographic excellence by the journalism school and given an honorary degree.

Recently, as the University looked to enhance its brand identity, in collaboration with New York City design firm Pentagram, designers exploring the University’s history visited the Special Collections Research Center to view Goudy’s Sherman typeface. The typeface was gifted to the University by Goudy’s niece and is largely unknown, having been used only in a few private press publications in the 1910s. The metal type has been housed in and safeguarded by SU Libraries for decades. “It is not only beautiful, but it has the lightness, the serviceability, and the range to serve a broad spectrum of publishing needs,” explains La Moy.

“Typography plays such a central role in branded communications,” says Rob Rayfield, executive director of digital and creative services in the University’s Office of Marketing and Communications. “Its effect and the impression it carries requires careful consideration when identifying a font to align with an institution’s identity. Sherman seemed to be patiently waiting in our archives to emerge and fill the role it’s so perfectly suited for at Syracuse University.”

“The Special Collections Research Center is delighted to contribute to Syracuse University’s new visual identity,” says senior director Lucy Mulroney. “The use of unique historical collections for the creation of a distinctive new typeface for the University speaks to our mission to support scholarship, creativity, and entrepreneurial endeavors.”

Chief Curator Andrew Saluti is currently developing an exhibition with La Moy that will highlight the University’s history with Goudy, his impact on typography, and his legacy as embodied in the University’s new typeface. The exhibition is planned to open in fall 2017 in the Special Collections Research Center in Bird Library.

Syracuse University, in partnership with Pentagram and production company DressCode, created a brief documentary video on the creation of the new typeface. “Goudy and Syracuse: The Tale of a Typeface Found” features La Moy, Michael Bierut of Pentagram, and type designer Chester Jenkins of Brooklyn, co-founder of Village Type.

Syracuse University has also issued a news story about the discovery, Hidden Treasure in Special Collections Embodies Syracuse University Spirit, written by Kathleen Haley.

University to Expand Libraries’ South Campus Facility for University Research Treasures

the facility6

Dean of Libraries David Seaman has announced the creation of a state-of-the-art addition to the Syracuse University Libraries Facility, to provide 15,000 square feet of climate-controlled space in which to preserve the University’s rare and archival research and teaching collections. This much- needed expansion is funded in part by a gift from Bill Brodsky ’65, G’68 and Joan Brodsky ’67, G’68, alumni and generous supporters of the University. The design phase of the project will begin immediately, with construction expected to be completed in 2017.

The first module of the facility opened in 2012 and can hold 1.2 million books and journals in climate-controlled conditions. Circulating materials housed here are delivered speedily to campus upon request, or digitized and sent via email. The impact of the facility to date has been considerable, freeing up space on campus for new library acquisitions, and allowing for dramatic renovations to the lower floors of Bird Library, now open 24 hours during the week all semester and the busiest student space on campus. It is expected that the upcoming expansion to the facility will be equally impactful on research and teaching.

The planned second module will expand what can be stored at the facility to include materials from Special Collections, University Archives, and the Belfer Audio Archive. The facility will include cool and cold storage vaults that will provide optimal environmental conditions to ensure the long-term viability of the unique paper, film, audio, and photographic materials held by the University. The storage facility will significantly increase the Libraries’ ability to provide users with both original materials and digital copies for teaching and research. The University’s institutional history, held in the University Archives, will also be easier to access thanks to this capital investment in the Syracuse University Libraries.

“These expanded and enhanced spaces are part of a broader plan for the curation and digitization of Syracuse University’s pre-eminent research collections, to meet the needs of faculty and students into the future,” said Dean Seaman. “The new module will enable future generations of scholars and students to discover and use the Libraries’ landmark photography and media collections, such as the Margaret Bourke-White and Clara Sipprell collections, the University film archives, and many others.”

“Bill and I are pleased to be able to provide this gift to Syracuse University,” says Joan Brodsky. “This state-of-the-art facility is a critical component of the Libraries’ infrastructure for preserving and providing access to its very fragile treasures.” Fundraising continues for this and other library infrastructures and spaces.

The Brodskys have a long-standing relationship with the University, from which they each hold two degrees. Their three sons are also University graduates, as is Bill’s brother and both of Joan’s brothers. Bill is a Life Trustee of the University and served on the Law School Board of Advisors from 1995-2003. He is chairman of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, after beginning his career as an attorney in the securities industry. Joan is a member of the Syracuse University Libraries Advisory Board and a former member of the iSchool Advisory Board. She also serves on the boards of the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Foundation Board of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Ill., and the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

 

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