BUFFALO, N.Y. -- More than $45,000 in seed funding and in-kind
business services was awarded to the top two teams in the
University at Buffalo's Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology
Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC).
UB School of Management students Matthew Epstein of Great Neck
and Andrew Cassetti of Rochester won first place for their
business, AppVue LLC.
AppVue is an app that helps users improve their smartphone
experience by allowing them to see what apps their friends are
using and how they are using them. With the vast and growing number
of applications available, AppVue helps users determine which apps
are relevant to their needs. AppVue is a service in itself, but it
can be used with Facebook to enhance the service.
"The Panasci TEC competition gave us the confidence and ability
to present our ideas professionally and cohesively," said Epstein.
He and Cassetti were contenders in the 2011 competition but did not
"We got great feedback from some distinguished judges and
others, and we used the lessons learned to get investors," he
Now in its 12th year, Panasci TEC awards seed money and business
services to the team that presents the best plan for launch of a
viable new business. Eleven local ventures have been launched with
first-place prize money since the UB competition began, and most
are still in business.
In addition to the $25,000 in start-up funding, the winning team
will receive in-kind awards for legal services from Jaeckle
Fleischmann & Mugel LLP, accounting services from Kopin &
Co. P.C., human resource start-up services from the People Plan by
HR Foundations Inc. and office space from North Forest Office
Space, bringing the total package to more than $35,000.
Alex Chaplin of Woodmere and Max Ringelheim of Atlantic Beach
took second place with an award of $10,000 for their business plan,
Vonvo, a social media platform dedicated to real-time idea sharing
The competition was created by the UB School of Management and
the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic
Outreach, and is funded with a $1 million endowment from the late
Henry A. Panasci Jr. to facilitate and promote the
commercialization of UB-generated technologies.
Nineteen teams entered the competition, and five teams were
chosen, based on the content of their written business proposals,
to present their business plans publicly in the competition's final
round on May 2 at UB's Center for Tomorrow.
Each team delivered a 10-minute presentation and was evaluated
on how well they described the feasibility and marketability of
their venture, proved the need for their product or service and
presented potential sources of capital.
Other new venture ideas included a payment system that
facilitates the repayment of trade credit between suppliers and
online retailers, a company that provides companies with studies on
consumer behavior using neurological techniques, and a service that
delivers innovative and real-time solutions for students and
Serving as judges for the competition were Robert H. Fritzinger,
director, SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator; Marnie LaVigne, UB
associate vice president for economic development; Mel E.
Passarelli, vice president of North American operations, Attunity
Inc.; Brian Pearson, president, Valuation Advisors LLC; and Alan
Zdon, owner, iCraveit.com LLC.
The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on
real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global
perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school has
been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes,
U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal for the
quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides
its graduates. For more information about the UB School of
Management, visit http://mgt.buffalo.edu.