Chip Down won second place at UB's Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition in April 2017.
Bernard Cohen and his father are no strangers on the golf courses of Margate City, New Jersey. But last summer, while on their annual vacation to the coastal town, Cohen and his father took their game from the green to the beach to practice chipping off the sand. In golf, “chipping off” is when a player hits a golf ball that has been in the turf out of the ground. “We decided to take a break for a stroll, and every step of the way we noticed people playing some type of competitive game,” Bernard says, “We instantly walked back to our golf clubs, made a circular target in the stand and began chipping away. That’s when the idea for Chip Down was conceived!”
The Chip Down team consists of CEO Cohen and COO Joseph Ricciardi (both in the mechanical engineering BS/MBA program). As student entrepreneurs, their biggest challenge has been balancing school with their passion for starting a business. Although their rigorous coursework has made time management a challenge, the team is not for making excuses and uses it as a motivator. “We have successfully been able to use this challenge as motivation to push us harder and watching Chip Down come to life has been an unbelievably rewarding experience, truly making it worth all the hard work.” Bernard says.
“Blackstone LaunchPad has been very supportive of us throughout our journey,” says Bernard. “Specifically, Tom Ulbrich was one of the first individuals that believed in me. He is an inspiring and motivational person, and his assistance does not go unnoticed. Everyone in the Blackstone office knows what they are talking about and is able to help at any point of the day if we have questions that need to be answered. They also matched us with a venture coach, Matthew Colpoys, who is a successful business owner and consultant here in Buffalo. The advice we have received from him has allowed us to strengthen our pitch and supporting documents beyond belief.”
Chip Down won second place at UB's Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition in April 2017. Since the competition, Chip Down has enjoyed continued success through Blackstone LaunchPad’s summer Sandbox accelerator program and recently completed a Kickstarter campaign.