Syracuse University teams capture awards at NY Business Plan Competition

From left, Scott Pecoriello, Elizabeth Tarangelo, Kayla Simon, Julia Haber, Kate Beckman, Serena Omo-Lamai, Charles Keppler

Once again, Syracuse University student entrepreneurship teams took home awards at the ninth annual New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC), which took place on Friday, April 27 in Albany.

The event, co-sponsored by Upstate Capital Association of New York, the New York State Economic Development Council, and FUSEHUB, brought together top teams from across the state to pitch to distinguished judges drawn from industry and the investment community.

Syracuse teams captured a first-place honor, and won a total of five awards in the five categories in which teams competed.  This follows last year’s success, when SU teams captured four top wins in six categories. No institution in the competition’s history has achieved this level of success at the competition. Each year, more than 400 student-led teams apply for the statewide competition, and approximately 100 teams compete in the finals.

The Syracuse prize winners included:

  • First Place, Service category: Kate Beckman ’17, ‘G18, Newhouse, founder of Fresh U;
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award in Entrepreneurship, Software and Information Technology category: Scott Pecoriello ’20, Arts and Sciences, founder of WeatherOptics;
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award in Entrepreneurship, Clean Energy and Sustainability category: Serena Omo-Lamai ’19 and Charles Keppler ’18, both College of Engineering a Computer Science, co-founders of FibreFree;
  • Female Founder (MWBE) Award in Advanced Technology category: Kayla Simon ’19 and Elizabeth Tarangelo ’19, both College of Engineering and Computer Science, co-founders of In-Spire;
  • Female Founder (MWBE) Award in Products category: Julia Haber ’18, Newhouse, founder of WAYV.

The NYBPC regional qualifier was organized by the Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad, whose staff also accompanied the teams to Albany last week.

“The Blackstone LaunchPad provided business planning expertise, mentorship, collaboration space, and pitch guidance to teams,” says Dean of Libraries David Seaman.  “Strong showings over two years demonstrates the impact this library service has had since it cut the ribbon two years ago in April 2016.”

Many of these students also participated in the RvD iPrize and the Panasci Business Plan competitions held this spring at Syracuse University.





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