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Campus News

Panasci entrepreneurship competition enters final round

By JACQUELINE GHOSEN

Published April 11, 2013

The team that presents the best plan for launch of a viable new business will receive $25,000 in startup funding in the final round of the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC).

A record number of 27 applicants made first-round pitches, which preliminary judges then narrowed to nine teams of semifinalists. The semifinalists submitted business plans, from which five teams of finalists were chosen.

Business ideas included an application use to provide visual, heat map representations of the world’s numerical data; a web-based solution providing personalized and easy-to-understand financial plans; a nanomaterial allowing a switch between light with heat and light without heat modes; customizable, USB-powered illuminated panels for a laptop; and a business analytics and data storage platform to update and analyze higher-education alumni data.

The final five teams will give presentations from 3-7 p.m. April 19 in the Center for the Arts Screening Room, North Campus.

In addition to the seed money, the winning team will receive in-kind awards valued at $27,000 for legal services from Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP, accounting services from Kopin & Co. P.C., human resource startup services from the People Plan by HR Foundations Inc., business development services from the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR), and office space from North Forest Office Space.

A second-place team will receive $10,000 in startup capital.

Now in its 13th year, the competition was created by the School of Management and STOR, 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.

It also is designed to bring students from science and technology disciplines together with business students to maximize their business and scientific potential to create viable businesses in Western New York.

Thirteen local ventures have been launched with first-place prize money since the UB competition began; most are still in business.

This year’s finalists were chosen based on the content of their written business plans.

Each of the five teams will deliver a 10-minute presentation and will be evaluated on how well they describe the feasibility and marketability of their venture, prove the need for their product or service and present potential sources of capital.

Judging the competition will be Robert H. Fritzinger, director, SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator; Marnie LaVigne, director of business development, UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences; Mel E. Passarelli, vice president of North American operations, Attunity; Brian Pearson, president, Valuation Advisors LLC; and Alan Zdon, owner, iCraveit.com.

Winners will be announced at a reception following the last team presentation.

Those interested in attending the presentations should register with the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at 885-5715 or mgt-cel@buffalo.edu.