WROC-TV (Channel 8) interviews Jason Shanley, a business management student at Rochester Institute of Technology. Shanley won first place for his business UrLocker last year in the E. Philip Saunders Young Entrepreneurs Academy Regional "Bright Ideas" Competition, and he explains how that experience prepared him for his RIT education.
Simone Center News
The deadline for the RIT Business Plan Competition is Monday April 30, 2012 at 6am. You may enter on line at Business Plan Competition.
Two startups with ties to RIT received top honors Thursday at the 2012 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest.
Strong Arm Technologies, run by RIT fourth-year students Sean Petterson and Justin Hillery, won the top prize of $25,000.
The students developed a form-fitting garment that incorporates a system of load-bearing straps that allows workers to lift heavy objects with significantly less risk of injury. The system shifts the forces of lifting from the injury-prone hands, arms, neck, shoulders and lower back and distributes them evenly to stronger and more stable areas of the torso.
SalesCongo, a startup business in RIT’s business incubator, Venture Creations, placed second in the competition. SalesCongo is a software company that partners with salesforce.com and improves the effectiveness of sales training and coaching.
“We have several RIT alumni on our team and the number one and number two finish by Strong Arm and us is testimony to RIT's role in innovation,” says Ken Kaisen, CEO of SalesCongo.
The Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest encourages entrepreneurship and recognizes new, high-growth ventures in the Rochester area. Thirty-six companies entered the competition. Five finalists presented their business plans to an expert panel of judges Thursday morning. The winners were announced that same day during the Celebration of Entrepreneurship Luncheon.
“We are incredibly proud and thankful to all of those at RIT, especially the Center for Student Innovation, Venture Creations and Professor Carl Lundgren, who have given us invaluable help for this win,” Strong Arm’s Petterson says.
Posted at: 03/23/2012 11:16 PM | Updated at: 03/23/2012 11:31 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
The countdown is on... RIT-48 has begun.
Students that compete have until Sunday to pitch a plan and launch a website or mobile app. 20 teams are competing for more than $2,000 in prizes. The crazy part is that they're doing in 48 hours what takes some businesses years.
"There is not a lot of time, they are still in school and they just have to work as hard as they can. The advantage of doing this is that they can find out if something is gonna work before they go out into the real world," says RIT-48 lead Matt Gardner.
Here's what some of them have come up with so far:
Team Zwapple's idea is to create a website and app that allows people to barter. The team says forget the cash, with their website, you'll get better results by simply doing what you're good at.
"If you have something that you can do- if you are a really good artist, if you are a mechanic, if you are an accountant- you have a lot of skills to offer. But there are often things that you need done for you," says team member Nikko Schaff. "If you are going to say build a website for a mechanic, who can fix your car in exchange, aren't you going to put a little more effort into it?"
Another team is working on a website called "A Cool Game a Day."
"Each day users come on, share the game with their friends, compete with each other on leader boards and really just discover a lot of new fun games," says RIT junior Chris Burton.
They're two very different ideas, but for both teams the clock is ticking.
"I love it. I love this little simulation of a business in just a very short period of time," says Schaff.
Chris Burton agrees. "It's kinda fun. The time constraint is tricky, but that's what makes it exciting."
The ideas created with RIT-48 don't stop this weekend. The students say even if they don't win, they plan on developing their ideas and honing them into successful businesses.
The winners will be announced around 2:30 on Sunday. It's open to the public.
Entrepreneurs work together to pitch, plan and develop Web startups in 48 hours
In one sleepless weekend, entrepreneurs at Rochester Institute of Technology could create your new favorite app or website. In fact, by March 25 it could be downloaded to your smart phone.
RIT48 returns March 23–25. For the third consecutive year, students, alumni and faculty from across campus are challenged to pitch, plan, develop and launch Web and mobile start-up companies—all within one 48-hour period.
Multidisciplinary teams—spanning expertise in programming, design and marketing—will create some form of Web-based applications that provide a new service or leverages an existing business opportunity. Last year’s winners created The Bar of the Day, a service that provides its users a one-day discount to a different bar every night of the week.
“RIT48 is awesome because you see innovators from all different disciplines working together to develop business plans, design and code,” says Matt Gardner, a fourth-year information technology student and organizer of RIT48.
Registration for RIT48 gets under way at 9 a.m. March 23, followed by an opening ceremony in the Center for Student Innovation. Pre-established teams and individuals affiliated with RIT who are looking to join a team must register online by March 15.
Teams compete for cash prizes, and winners will be selected based on evaluations presented to a panel of experts. Judges include Pete Karl, managing director for Bocoup; Marc Weil, founder and engineer at CloudMine; Darrin Nelson, vice president of software sales at Sirius Computer Solutions; Greg Koberger, Web developer at Mozilla; and Eric Carlstrom, co-founder and CTO at EverTrue. All are also RIT alumni.
“Each team gives an elevator pitch for the judges at 10:15 a.m. on Friday,” explains Gardner. “This is a 60-second spiel that conveys the team’s preliminary ideas. Hopefully by Sunday, the business is something the team can run with.”
Go to the RIT48 website for more information and to watch the live-streamed opening and closing ceremonies March 23 and 25.
Is the Kinetic Beacon the Next Generation GPS?
Adventurers who become lost and stranded in remote areas need more help than MapQuest printouts or a battery-depleted cell phone.
Two student entrepreneurs from Rochester Institute of Technology developed a prototype for the Kinetic Beacon, a non-battery-powered GPS signal that transmits both location data and a unique ID when activated.
Christopher Burton, a junior majoring in management information systems in the E. Philip Saunders College of Business, and Alexander Bennett, a sophomore in industrial design in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, are now sharing $2,000 after winning first place in RIT’s Shark Tank Exhibition, sponsored by the Saunders College.
“Besides the seed money, they have the opportunity to further develop their investment at the RIT Student Business Incubator,” says Richard DeMartino, director of the Albert J. Simone Center for Entrepreneurship, which hosted the competition.
Bennett, a native of Manchester, N.H., says the beacon is an innovative product and a great GPS tool for outdoor adventurers who enjoy mountain climbing, skiing, biking, rafting, hiking or trail running. “The beacon is a lifeline to the outside world. We think it would be an invaluable tool in the national parks—and it could fit right into your backpack.”
Plus the hand-held device is durable, waterproof, lightweight and requires no batteries. “It’s kinetic and the motion starts by waving or shaking it around,” says Burton, who hails from Apalachin, outside of Binghamton. “You could leave this in your car for a couple of years and forget about it—but it would still work when you needed it. You can’t do that with battery-operated devices.”
The students say their next step involves a marketing approach—to get in touch with outdoor leadership groups and national parks.
“Imagine every state or national park, ski resort and base camp throughout the country gave out these beacons to their visitors when they arrived and had them returned at the end of the visitor’s stay. How about across the world? How many lives could be saved?”
Drum roll, please! The finalists for the Shark Tank competition this quarter have been selected. It was not easy with over 50 teams submitting proposals.
The teams in the finals in alphabetical order are:
- Kinetic Beacon - Chris Burton and Alex Bennett
- Live Mobile Medical Telemetry - Nick Desaulneirs and Cody Cziesler
- Mobile Braille Translator - Jordan Darling
- Rype - Ben Withnell, Perrin Herman, and Tom Conroy
- The Lift Partners – Sean Petterson and Justin Hillery
Finalists will receive an email with more details early next week.
For questions, please contact Rupa Thind at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of you were able to join us for the 8th annual Entrepreneur's Conference on October 21, 2011, some of you may have missed out on this years excitement. Either way the keynote presentation given by Clickables, David Kidder was so jam packed with information for both the aspiring and accomplished entrepreneur that reviewing it here one more time can reveal things you may have missed the first time.
Written by Tom Tobin of the Democrat and Chronicle can be accessed from: http://on.rocne.ws/u39OYn
David Kidder, CEO of the online advertising services company Clickable Inc., has climbed a lot of mountains and languished in more than a few valleys in his entrepreneurial career.
It has been in his valleys, when success seems more distant than failure, that he has learned the most about how to build a business and overcome adversity.
"It's important to remember that there's never a bad time to start a company, booms, busts, whatever," Kidder, the keynote speaker at the daylong 8th annual RIT Entrepreneurs Conference at the E. Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT, said. "But it's incredibly hard to do."
Kidder said that, in the modern world, the stakes have changed for people. If the central goal in American life once was to buy a home and build equity in it, the goal now must be to build equity and value in a creative, productive work life.
"It's essential that you know yourself and foster your ability to create things, build a framework, to join with others who have skills you might not have," Kidder said.
Kidder, an RIT graduate, is known not only for his startup prowess, but for being the co-author of a best-selling series of advice books called The Intellectual Devotional. In the process of his research, Kidder has interviewed some of the giants of the entrepreneurial world and Friday shared some of the advice he has been given.
They include urgings to think radically, to be an ethical and forgiving leader, to find and focus on the big and best idea while shedding those that divert attention and energy. He urged those interested in the startup life to understand one's company, one's customer and one's market as completely as possible.
"The late Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs knew what people want but were unable to say," Kidder said. "You have to be able to throw out all the Bs and keep only the A and make it an A-plus."
More than 600 people registered for the conference.
More than 600 people turned out for RIT’s eighth annual entrepreneurship conference on Friday. School officials say this year’s conference was the biggest yet.
There were 12 sessions, a keynote from web entrepreneur David Kidder and even a “Shark Tank” competition for student entrepreneurs.
It all underscored RIT’s growing efforts to make entrepreneurship a major focus.
“The whole idea was to do something that is RIT-focused in its strengths - which are multi-disciplinary and experiential,” says Richard DeMartino, director of the school’s Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
DeMartino, who helped organize the conference, says RIT is uniquely positioned for fostering entrepreneurialism among its students.
“Because we don’t just have people imagining it and writing business plans; we have the engineers that can make it,” says DeMartino. “Most [places] can’t help you link together the technology, design and business people.”
Entrepreneurship in action
One student taking on that charge is Eric Irish, a third-year information science and technology student from Ithaca.
Irish was the winner of Friday’s “Shark Tank” competition, in which five finalists pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges.
“I’m getting two grand for this,” Irish says.
Irish’s winning concept is called CampusSafe - a phone app that helps users report on-campus incidents. Think of it as one of those blue light emergency phones in your pocket.
Irish says the app is in development with RIT right now (where it will be called TigerSafe), but ultimately he wants to branch out onto other campuses around the country.
As for pitching to potential investors, he thinks he has found the sweet spot:
“I simplified everything. I took out slides. I cut it down to just the bare meat,” explains Irish. “I identified the problem in the beginning, I identified the market and then I just came up with the solution and showed it to them. I think that really did it.”
As for that $2,000, Irish says he’s plowing it back into the product. He says most of it will go toward the Mac he recently bought to do iPhone development.
Full Article accessed from: http://innovationtrail.org/post/conference-highlights-rits-focus-entrepreneurship