Media Advisory: Aspiring entrepreneurs to compete for more than $75,000 at UB

Release Date: April 12, 2024


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Six teams will vie for more than $75,000 in startup funding and in-kind services in the final round of the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC).

Who: Selected from 31 first-round pitches and 12 semifinalists, the six finalists feature a diverse array of business plans: 

Who: Selected from 31 first-round pitches and 12 semifinalists, the six finalists feature a diverse array of business plans:

  • Empasta produces a plant-based, cheese-like sauce, using whole food ingredients to deliver a tasty product inclusive to most diets.
  •  J+J is a weighted magnetic band that helps promote stabilization of the hand for people with neurodegenerative diseases who suffer from hand tremors.
  • DUCCS is a new technology in the composting industry, biochar wattles, that will decrease greenhouse gas emissions through natural adsorption and improve the carbon impact of current aerated composting processes.
  • Hive is an ed-tech platform designed to enhance campus life by seamlessly connecting students, clubs and universities.
  • Exergi develops and deploys a solar energy generator for residential and small commercial buildings.
  • Connext is a pioneering solution that leverages technology and personalized mentoring to address challenges in the career exploration journey of high school students.

What: Each of the final teams will present 2-minute pitches, 43North style, to a panel of judges and other viewers, 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.

The team that presents the best plan for launching a viable new business in Western New York will earn $25,000 in seed money plus in-kind awards valued at more than $40,000. The second-place team will collect $10,000 in startup funding.

In addition to the competition, guests will be immersed in a demonstration of Buffalo’s “fashionpreneurs” and “foodpreneurs” and an exclusive runway presentation by Western New York Fashionpreneurs.

Why: Hosted by UB’s Startup and Innovation Collaboratory powered by Blackstone LaunchPad, the event brings together UB students from science, technology, business and other disciplines to maximize their potential and create viable businesses in Western New York.

When: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on April 18 (detailed schedule below).

Where: The Center for the Arts on UB’s North Campus.

Details and Photo Opportunities:

  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. - Networking, fashionpreneurs and foodpreneurs
  • 5:40-5:55 p.m. - Welcome remarks 
  • 5:55-7 p.m. - Team presentations and Luminary Awards
  • 7-7:20 p.m. - Fashion show from Western New York Fashionpreneurs
  • 7:20-7:30 p.m. - Presentation of awards

For additional details, visit the Panasci program

Anyone interested in attending the presentations on April 18 should register at

Created in 2001 by the UB School of Management and the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, Panasci TEC is funded with a $1 million endowment from the late Henry A. Panasci Jr. to facilitate and promote the commercialization of UB-generated technologies.

Now in its 100th year, the UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report 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

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management