Release Date: March 20, 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ten 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 33 first-round pitches, preliminary judges pared down the number of teams to ten.
Ideas from the semifinalists represent a wide range of business plans:
Two proposals had a health care theme: a platform that provides automated, real-time patient tracking and surgical staff notification tools to streamline the perioperative procedure, and an interactive website that offers a self-management program for individuals diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.
The cyber realm featured an idea for a website that facilitates contractor-to-contractor equipment rental services; an app that links culturally adventurous travelers to a region’s local guides for an “off the beaten path” experience; a cloud-based application to capture and preserve a family’s oral history; and an application that connects users with available storage space for their short- and medium-term storage needs.
Other ideas included a manufacturer of biodegradable plastic products made from hemp; a technology that generates hydrogen gas from water; a portable golf-inspired chipping game using a specially engineered and adjustable golf wedge; and personalized refrigeration storage services for college campuses.
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 March 29.
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 12 at the Center for the Arts Main Stage 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.
In addition to $25,000 in seed funding, the winning team will receive in-kind awards valued at $27,000 for legal services from Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC, accounting services from Lumsden & McCormik LLP, human resource services from the People Plan from HR Foundations Inc., business development services from the UB Office of Economic Development and office space from North Forest Office Space.
Other finalists will win co-working space from Dig at the Innovation Center. Judges will have access to Microsoft Surface tablets at practice and live events, courtesy of Microsoft.
Now in its 17th year, Panasci TEC was created by the UB School of Management and the UB Office of Economic Development, 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 12 should register with the UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at 716-885-5715 or firstname.lastname@example.org.