UB entrepreneurship competition enters semifinal round

Shane Nolan and Ryan Jaquin presenting on stage at the 2018 Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition.

Shane Nolan and Ryan Jaquin, winners of the 2018 Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition for their company, Bitcrusher. Photo: Nancy J. Parisi

Release Date: March 15, 2019 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y.The University at Buffalo has identified 12 teams of students 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 teams to those below, which represent a wide range of business plans:

Four pitches focused on the health care industry, including a health care equipment marketplace that modernizes the procurement process; an immune cell isolation, analysis and storage company that provides basic cryopreservation services for healthy clients; a patient-specific cell therapy used as an alternative to orthotopic liver transplantation; and a device that measures fascial tension, assisting in the closure of surgical incisions and improving abdominal surgery outcomes.

Food-related pitches were the theme of four additional entries, which featured a unit that provides on-demand refrigerated food storage compartments for health-conscious and commuter students; a sustainable company specializing in artisanal burgers made from insects; a comprehensive platform for pregnant women to track food consumption trends and identify toxins likely to cause pregnancy sickness; and an app that provides restaurants with dish-specific reviews used to improve quality.

Other pitches included a patent-pending guitar case that prevents damage while transporting or standing the instrument; a next generation wind turbine designed to revolutionize the small wind industry; a peer-to-peer rental platform for outdoor enthusiasts; and a location-based messaging app that facilitates real-life interactions between users.

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

Judges will evaluate those materials and select five finalists by March 27.

The five final teams will deliver a 10-minute, public presentation at the competition’s final round from 4-8 p.m. on April 10 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 Colligan Law LLP, accounting services from Lumsden & McCormick LLP, human resource services from the People Plan from HR Foundations Inc., business development services from the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, and Western New York Incubator Network, and office space from North Forest Office Space.

Now in its 19th year, Panasci TEC was created by the UB School of Management and the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, 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 UB School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) and Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at UB, 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 10 should register with the CEL 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, 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.

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management