UB entrepreneurship competition enters semifinal round

Release date: March 13, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Eleven teams led by University at Buffalo students have been identified as semifinalists in the 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.

After watching a record 33 first-round pitches, preliminary judges pared down the number of teams to 11, representing a wide range of business plans.

Ideas from the semifinalists included a robotics startup that develops self-navigating technology for boats and ships; a precious metal retrieval unit used to recover and reuse pricy metals; and deployable, precast concrete walls used to protect buildings or entire neighborhoods against water-related hazards.

Other semifinalist entries focused on the medical field, such as a new platform for high-volume drug screening; a biochemical sensing system that integrates with smartphone technology; and a biotechnology venture that develops novel therapeutic agent formulations.

A number of proposals for apps and websites rounded out the mix, including an app that connects college students with relevant on-campus information; an instant translation app that uses multilingual freelancers; an application that creates fully interactive e-books; an animal-only crowd funding platform; and a website that facilitates member-to-member tool rentals.

Each of the semifinalist teams has been matched with a coach from the business community to prepare for the next round, where they will submit written materials along with a video pitch.

Judges will evaluate those materials and select five finalists by April 1.

Each of the five final teams will deliver a 10-minute, public presentation at the competition’s final round from 4-8 p.m. on April 15 in the Center for the Arts Screening Room on UB’s North Campus.

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 at a reception immediately following the last team presentation.

Now in its 15th year, Panasci TEC was created by the UB School of Management and the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach, 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, 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 15 should register with the UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at 716-885-5715 or mgt-cel@buffalo.edu.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's nearly 30,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Contact
Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management
716-645-2833
ghosen@buffalo.edu