Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad (LaunchPad) hosted  its annual ’Cuse Tank entrepreneurial competition on Friday, October 8 at Bird Library. Twenty-four student teams from various schools and colleges across campus competed in a “Shark-Tank” style business pitch in front of a panel of judges consisting of Syracuse University parents and successful entrepreneurs. Families were invited to attend this event as part of Family Weekend to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of University innovators. This year’s winning teams were:

  • 1st Place winner, $15,000: Ambassadoor Technologies, led  by Bruno Gonzalez Hauger G’22 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management). The  company connects small brick-and-mortar businesses to nano-influencers, enabling anyone on Instagram with engagement to be a paid influencer, while automating the influencer search, compensation, and management processes.
  • 2nd Place winner, $10,000: Munch Jerky, led by Selim Dangoor ’23 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management). The company provides a gluten-free, artisanal flank steak jerky using all- natural ingredients
  • 3rd Place winners, each receiving $2,500:  BusPoint, led by Justin Gluska ’23 (College of Engineering and Computer Science) and Sice-Me, led by Alexander Peter Rolinski ’24 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management). BusPoint is a web-based application allowing students to monitor where their designated school bus is at all times, provide parents with real time monitoring and alerts, and provide teachers and administrators with real time data. Sice-Me is a mobile application which creates insular marketplaces for college and high school students, enabling users to create an account with their student email address in order to  buy or sell products to students at their school.
  • Wild Card Winners, each receiving $1,250: Holy Egg! Shakshuka Truck, led by Natasha Brao ’22 (College of Visual and Performing Arts) and Shop All Yours, led by Julia Gomez ’25 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management).

“After more than a year of virtual competitions, the energy and creativity that the student teams brought to ’CuseTank this year was so welcome,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “Parents and guests were equally excited to witness first-hand the creativity, business acumen and professionalism of the student teams. We started the day with $22,500 for the judges to award as they saw fit, raised from generous SU Libraries supporters; however, the judges were so impressed with our student entrepreneurs that they added an additional $10,000 to the prize money during their deliberations!  We are so grateful for their investment in our students.”

Other venture teams, led by idea champions, who presented during the competition included:

  • Sweatration, led by Paul Franco ’22 (College of Arts and Sciences), Zach Stahl ’23 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), and Anthony Mazzacane ’24 (College of Engineering and Computer Science and College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Fundwurx, led by Ben Ford ’23 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)
  • Phantom Tea, led by Christine Wu ’22 (College of Arts and Sciences)     
  • Fitted, led by Damaris Koi Munyua G’22 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)
  • LunaX, led by Diego Luna ’22 (College of Arts and Sciences)                       
  • SENSE-A, led by Gabriela Angel G’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Simran Lakhani ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science) and Hong Yan Chen ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science)
  • YOKA, led by Isabella Perkins ’25 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Daren Wang ’23 (College of Visual and Performing Arts) and Matthew Swanson ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science)
  • Out2Win Sports, led by Jack Adler ’23 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management) and Sam Holland ’23 (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Martin J. Whitman School of Management))
  • Patchwork, led by Jackson Ensley ’22 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management) and Paul Hultgren, LaunchPad Innovator in Residence
  • Civilian Medical Response, Jared Anderson ’23 (College of Engineering and Computer Science)
  • Glisten, led by Justin Monaco G’22 (College of Arts and Sciences), Bianca Andrada ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), and Anh Dao ’23 (College of Visual and Performing Arts)                                 
  • Wo-manly, Kelly Davis ’23 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)
  • Candid, led by Mia Hinz ’23 (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications)
  • Urban Coders, led by Mohammed Ali ’22 (School of Information Studies)
  • TEAGO, led by Noah Mechnig-Giordano G’22 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)
  • Athletify, led by Season Chowdhury ’23 (College of Engineering and Computer Science) and Raul Chakraborty ’23 (School of Information Studies)
  • Lateral Assist, led by Xinyao Zhao ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Andrea Merloiu ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), and Cheyenne Kersavage ’21 (College of Engineering and Computer Science)

This year’s judges included the following Syracuse University parents and alumni:

  • David Martirano
  • Jeffrey Gates
  • Burt Podbere
  • Kristina Campos
  • Andrew Neuberger
  • Douglas Canfield
  • Corey Lieblein ’93
  • Andrew Schwartz
  • Carter Holland
  • Marlowe Sidney Bamberger
  • Linda Schwartz
  • Jim Armstrong
  • Matt Shumer
  • Steve Shumer
  • Phil McKnight
  • Patrick Prioletti ’21
man in business suit at podium while woman in business suit stands to side waiting
Dean David Seaman announcing ‘Cuse Tank prize winners, including Wild Card winner Julia Gomez, founder of Shop All Yours