Three emerging companies with RIT ties compete for $25,000 prize

2015 Rochester Venture Challenge scheduled on April 17

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Three start-up businesses with strong ties to Rochester Institute of Technology are among the eight semifinalists for the 2015 Rochester Venture Challenge, formerly known as the Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest.

From the eight companies, five finalists will be selected to make presentations April 17 at the seventh Celebration of Entrepreneurship Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rochester. The goal of the competition is to encourage entrepreneurship while recognizing and rewarding the most promising start-up companies in the nine-county Finger Lakes region.

The first-place winner receives $25,000 along with marketing and business incubation services. Second- and third-place winners receive smaller prizes of cash and services. The runners-up receive marketing services.

RIT’s Venture Creations business incubator is a co-sponsor of the competition.

The RIT-related companies are:

  • Electronic Gaming Federation plans to organize and run electronic gaming tournaments. More than a dozen RIT students are involved. They completed RIT’s Saunders Summer Start-up program and continue to work in the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship. CEO is Tyler Schrodt, a current MBA student at RIT.
  • Empire Medicinals strives to be a U.S. producer of standardized mushroom products used in medicinal therapies. President/CEO George Zheng is a 2014 mechanical engineering technology graduate of RIT.
  • Splyce eSports is developing a free website that allows eSports fans to spend less time searching for games and more time enjoying them. The CEO and co-founder is Marty Strenczewilk, a 2011 master’s graduate in environmental safety, health and management.

Tickets for the luncheon are $45 and available at