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    Syracuse University Student Entrepreneurs Win Big at New York Business Plan Competition

    by Pamela Whiteley McLaughlin

    Photo: Members of winning teams from the New York Business Plan CompetitionSyracuse University student entrepreneurship teams dominated the eighth annual New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC), which took place on Friday, April 28, at SUNY Poly’s NanoTech Complex in Albany. Syracuse teams captured the $100,000 grand prize and took 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 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. Syracuse 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, Jaydeep Sathe, Bryan Christopher Morris; portable, fast-charging battery unit for electric vehicles; spcev.com.
    • $10,000 First Place, Clean Technology: Spark Charge, 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; 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; power-spike.com.

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