By Dan Wang
Six University of Rochester teams will advance to the New York Business Plan Competition statewide finals in Albany on April 26, where they will compete for $225,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. These teams represent diverse disciplines, hailing from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Eastman School of Music, the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Simon School of Business.
"It's absolutely wonderful that students from so many parts of the University were selected as finalists," says Duncan Moore, the vice provost for entrepreneurship at Rochester, who coached many of the teams. "We've got Eastman students and Hajim students in addition to Simon students. It just shows how deeply the entrepreneurial spirit permeates throughout the school."
The New York Business Plan Competition is one of the largest collegiate business competitions in the country. Students from around New York State compete for prizes before a panel of judges made up of venture capitalists, investment bankers, and entrepreneurs.
The competition awards prizes in the following categories: nanotechnology/advanced technology; energy/sustainability; biotechnology/healthcare; information technology/software; products/services; and social entrepreneurship/non-profit.
The following teams of students have been selected as finalists in the competition:
- In the biotechnology/healthcare category, TrakOR, formed by graduating seniors from the College of Arts and Sciences. W. Spencer Klubben, Ankit Medhekar, Michael Nolan, Sonja Page, Matt Plakosh, and Erin Schnellinger. TrakOr is making a more accurate electronic tracking system to replace pencil and paper tracking systems for intravenous (IV) drugs.
- In the biotechnology/healthcare category, Health Care Original, formed by students enrolled in a Master of Science graduate program run jointly by the Simon School of Business and the Hajim School of Engineering of Applied Sciences: Prinson Dsouza, Ran Gao, ChenChen Qu, and Sharon Samjitsingh. Health Care Original is developing a patent-pending app to keep track of asthma attacks and upload daily data for review.
- In the information technology/software category, MedThru ICT, formed by students enrolled in a Master of Science graduate program run jointly by the Simon School of Business and the Hajim School of Engineering of Applied Sciences: Sarah Catheline, Nirish Kafle, Nick Lewandowsk, and Alvin Lomibao, a graduate student studying biomedical engineering at the Hajim School. MedThru ICT is developing an integrated scheduling and communication system that facilitates the processes involved in adding unforeseen medical procedures to a day's schedule.
- In the nanotechnology/advanced technology category, SMP Microstamps, formed by students enrolled in a Master of Science graduate program run jointly by the Simon School of Business and the Hajim School of Engineering of Applied Sciences: Megan DeWitt, Andrew Durney, Will Finnie, and Kwaku Owusu, an MBA student at the Simon School. SMP Microstamps had created an integrated platform for micro-contact printing applications with a stamp material with highly tunable surface properties.
- In the nanotechnology/advanced technology category, Formation 3D, formed by students in the College of Arts and Sciences: Alex Feiszli, Eric Frank, and Steven Trambert. Formation 3D is making 3D printers accessible to home users.
- In the social entrepreneurship/nonprofit category, Sound ExChange, formed by Emily Wozniak, a graduate student at the Eastman School. Sound Exchange is developing alternative ways to listen to orchestral music.
"I'm excited for all of the students," says Moore. "They've trained a great deal for this and I'm eager to see them do well in Albany."
The statewide final competition will be held at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany, 257 Fuller Road, Albany, N.Y. Presentations start at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 26.
The New York Business Plan Competition is a collaboration among the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany, the University at Albany School of Business, and Syracuse University. The competition is one of many public-private collaborations promoted by Governor Andrew Cuomo.