College entrepreneurs to compete at RIT in semi-finals of New York Business Plan Competition April 13

Competitors vie for chance to advance to state finals and win $500,000 in prizes




Follow Vienna McGrain on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter
201704/aware.jpg

RIT students Emmanuel Dodoo, left, and Ethan Kersat will compete in fifth annual Finger Lakes Regional Semi-Finalist Presentation Round of the New York Business Plan Competition. The team’s entry, AWARE, is a non-invasive facial recognition software to detect and alert drivers of fatigue in real time.

Thirty-five teams of student entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges at the fifth annual Finger Lakes Regional Semi-Finalist Presentation Round of the New York Business Plan Competition, 5:30–9:30 p.m. today, April 13, at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Student Innovation Hall.

Teams representing State University of New York at Geneseo, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, RIT, St. John Fisher College, SUNY Brockport and University of Rochester will present their business ideas in six categories: information technology/software, social entrepreneurship/nonprofit, clean technology, advanced technology, products and services. The top two teams in each category will go on to compete for $500,000 in prizes at the statewide finals at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany on April 28.

The teams will have 10 minutes to talk about their plans followed by five minutes of questions from the judges. Presentations will run in parallel in six rooms based on each category.

The regional competition is supported by RIT’s Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the University of Rochester Ain Center for Entrepreneurship.

The judges are:

  • Ed Bizari, entrepreneur-in-residence, LaunchNY
  • Dave Braverman, president and CEO, iLUMENATi
  • David Chauncey, managing member, Echo Bay Ventures LLC
  • Jaimie Cole, vice president of technology, iCardiac Technologies Inc.
  • Denny DeLeo, president and director, Venture Jobs Foundation
  • Dean Faklis, president, Perluma
  • Conger Gabel, CEO, Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association
  • Ben Gibson, owner, SyrRoc Systems
  • Kevin Halpin, president, JTA Advisors LLC
  • Dave Jones, president, ASM Publishing
  • Rami Katz, COO, Excell Partners Inc.
  • David Mammano, CEO, president and founder, Next Step Publishing
  • Noah Morgenstern, COO, Anua International
  • Sameer Penakalapati, president and CEO, Avani Technology Solutions
  • Mark Peterson, president and CEO, GRE
  • David Rusin, founder, president and CEO, Vakxel Corp.
  • Mark Smillie, founder, Earth Moves
  • Doug Westerdahl, president and CEO, Monroe Wheelchair
  • Tim Wilson, chairman, Rochester Angel Network

The event is free and open to the public.

For a map and parking instructions, go to http://bit.ly/nybpc-2017-map

201704/aware.jpg

RIT students Emmanuel Dodoo, left, and Ethan Kersat will compete in fifth annual Finger Lakes Regional Semi-Finalist Presentation Round of the New York Business Plan Competition. The team’s entry, AWARE, is a non-invasive facial recognition software to detect and alert drivers of fatigue in real time.