UB names finalists in entrepreneurship competition

Published April 2, 2021

UB has identified five teams as finalists in the 20th annual Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC), taking them one step closer to the $52,000 in startup funding and business services that will go to the group that presents the best plan for a viable new business in Western New York.

Selected from 30 first-round pitches and 11 semifinalists, the finalists represent a diverse array of business proposals, including:

  • A breast pump that creates a personalized experience for nursing mothers, while providing comfort, efficiency, affordability and portability.
  • A proprietary, cloud-based education platform for 3D printing that enables companies to take advantage of additive manufacturing technologies.
  • A leak-sensing film that works with an app to monitor patients who have had intestinal repairs.
  • A cloud-based, artificial intelligence platform that learns from a wide range of health care data to optimize operating room scheduling and provides a marketplace for health care facilities to sell resulting vacancies to insurance companies.
  • A shower chair accessory that promotes independence while bathing, aiding in injury prevention within the aging community.

Each of the five teams will each deliver a 10-minute, public presentation at the competition’s final round, which will be held virtually on April 9 via Zoom.

They 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.

Winners will be announced following a brief period of deliberation by the judges after the last presentation. During that time, Celine Krzan, MBA ’17 and Western New York Prosperity alumna, will interview Panasci winners from the past three years on the status of their businesses and lives after the competition.

In addition to $25,000 in seed funding, the winning team will receive in-kind awards valued at $27,000 for legal services from Colligan Law LLP, accounting services from Lumsden & McCormick LLP, human resource services from the People Plan from HR Foundations Inc., business development services from Western New York Incubator Network and the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, and office space from North Forest Office Space.

Panasci TEC was created by the School of Management and the Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, 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.

Hosted by the School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars, 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.

Anyone interested in attending the presentations on April 9 should register online.