Panasci Entrepreneurial Competition Offers $25,000 in Start-Up Funding to UB Students, Recent Alumni

Winning team eligible to compete for additional $100,000

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: October 20, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Management is accepting applications for UB's annual Panasci Entrepreneurial Competition, which awards $25,000 in seed capital to UB students and recent alumni who want to start their own business in Western New York.

The $25,000 cash prize will be awarded to the team that presents the best business plan for launch of a viable business.

The winning team will advance to the Southwest Business Plan Competition at Rice University in Houston to compete for first, second and third prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

The first-place winner of the Southwest Business Plan Competition will move to the internationally renowned MOOT CORP Competition, which Business Week dubbed "The Super Bowl of World Business-Plan Competition." The MOOT CORP winner will have the opportunity to receive a $100,000 equity investment in the form of convertible debt.

The Panasci competition is open to all UB students and to UB alumni who graduated in 1998 or later. Contestants may compete for the award individually or in teams of up to five members. The deadline for submission of preliminary applications is Nov. 21; deadline for submission of business plans is Jan. 23.

One member from each team is required to attend a workshop on business-plan writing. Workshops will be offered on Dec. 6, 13 and 20 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.

Five finalists will be named on Feb. 9, based on the content of their written business plans. They will present their proposals to the judges on March 3 and the winner will be announced that evening at a reception following the presentations.

Now in its fourth year, the competition was created to encourage the entrepreneurial interests of UB students and alumni and to promote the development of new business ventures in Western New York. The award is made possible through a $1 million endowment by UB School of Pharmacy alumnus Henry A. Panasci Jr., B.A. '48, B.S. '52, chairman of Cygnus Management Group and past chairman and CEO of Fay's Inc.

Last year's $25,000 prize was awarded to an Executive MBA graduate who developed First Tracks, an educational-software venture designed to help teachers and administrators monitor the reading progress of their students against national benchmarks. First Tracks is now up and running and actively pursuing additional sales. In 2001, the winner was an MBA student who devised a plan for launching a veterinarian service in the Southtowns. Her business, Frontier Equine Practice, now is open and profitable.

Application materials and information about the contest can be accessed online at or by calling the UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at 645-3000.