Campus News

Artificial Intelligence platform wins UB entrepreneurship competition

Ryan Young (right) and Anders Rosén of Opollo Technologies Inc. Opollo was selected as the winner of the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition. Photo: Nancy J. Parisi


Published April 13, 2021

“Our experiences at UB have been amazing. There are so many people at the university and the larger Buffalo startup community who will drop everything to help you! ”
Ryan Young, founder and CEO
Opollo Technologies LLC

Opollo Technologies, a fintech health care AI startup, took first place April 9 in UB’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC).

Ryan Young, MD/MBA ’21, and Anders Rosén, MBA ’21, will receive $25,000 in startup capital and in-kind services valued at $27,000 for their company, Opollo Technologies LLC.

Opollo™ is a machine-learning algorithm that uses medical natural language processing to provide two to three times more accurate surgery-duration forecasts than existing methods. The cloud-based artificial intelligence platform learns from a wide range of health care data to optimize operating room scheduling. Opollo Technologies also empowers its health care facility customers to monetize their efficiency by selling the resulting open time slots to health insurance companies on the Opollo Exchange, a marketplace where medical services are bought and sold.

“Our experiences at UB have been amazing,” says Young, Opollo’s founder and CEO. “There are so many people at the university and the larger Buffalo startup community who will drop everything to help you!”

Rosén serves as the company’s chief sales and marketing officer; rounding out the management team is Pete Turner, chief technology officer.

In-kind awards include 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.

The second-place team, Kamal Patel, Daunel Augustin, both biomedical engineering students, and Daniel Hutchinson, will collect $10,000 for their company, Layer Slayers, a proprietary, cloud-based education platform for 3D printing that enables companies to take advantage of additive manufacturing technologies.

Spectators voted on a People’s Choice award that came with $1,000, which went to BOSQ, a breast pump that creates a personalized experience for nursing mothers, while providing comfort, efficiency, affordability and portability.

Panasci TEC provided coaching and mentoring to participants to prepare them for their pitches. Richard Peterson of UB Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships was a Panasci mentor to Opollo Technologies. The team also credits Dave Thiemecke of UB Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, Matthew Colpoys of Galileo Consulting, and Hadar Borden and Alex Pelc of UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars, for supporting them throughout the process.

Jack McGowan of Insyte Consulting and Western New York Venture Association/Buffalo Angels mentored Layer Slayers.

Pared down from 30 first-round pitches and 11 semifinalists, five teams of finalists delivered five-minute virtual presentations via Zoom to a panel of judges and other viewers, and were evaluated on how well they described the feasibility and marketability of their venture, proved the need for their product or service, and presented potential sources of capital.

Other new venture ideas included a leak-sensing film that works with an app to monitor patients who have had intestinal repairs, and a shower chair accessory that promotes independence while bathing, aiding in injury prevention within the aging community.

Serving as judges for the final event were David Drew, software engineer, The Blackstone Group; Patrick Judge, managing partner, Camber Road Partners; Susie Kim, co-founder, Electric Potential; Terry Rice, business development consultant, Terry Rice Coaching & Consulting; and Lindsay Karas Stencel, partner, Thompson Hine LLP and co-founder, The W Fund.

Now in its 21st year, 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 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.