Overview

In 1989, Charles and Janet Forbes ’40 provided an endowment to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to establish the Forbes Entrepreneurial Award, which encourages current, full-time undergraduate engineering students to consider the commercial potential of topics or processes they are studying.

Charles Forbes was motivated by his belief that engineers, with an appreciation of the business aspects of new ventures, can contribute significantly to a much needed increase in manufacturing and production-oriented industry in the United States. Accordingly, the award was intended to encourage engineering students to augment their academic design projects with a business plan, including the initial organizational, financial, marketing, and production aspects of a company based on their design results.

Eligibility

  • Applications must be submitted online. Click the Apply button to the right to access the online application.
  • All competition participants must currently be enrolled as full-time undergraduates at the University of Rochester. Only active UR undergraduate students in good standing are eligible to present in the competition and receive prize money.
  • At least one member of the team must be an undergraduate at the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Rules

  • Teams may consist of no more than five individuals and it is recommended to have at least two members on each team although an individual without team members is eligible to compete.
  • All deadlines for the current academic year are listed to the right.
  • The business model must be in the idea, development, or start-up stage. Entries for a business that is already earning revenue will not be considered.

Awards

Cash prizes have been made possible by the generous endowment gift from Charles and Janet Forbes ’40. Award amounts vary each year based on how well the endowment performs.

Guidelines

Students, individually or in teams, compete by submitting a business plan for a manufacturing or technical business (often based on their senior design projects). Prize money of more than $1,000 has been awarded for outstanding projects. Applications must be submitted online by clicking the Apply button to the right.

Mentors are available to students intending to compete in Forbes and meetings can be arranged by contacting the Ain Center at AinCFE@rochester.edu.

Competitors will develop business plans for their manufacturing and/or technical ideas. Submissions must be received via the online application and must include basic information about the entrants, an executive summary of no more than five pages, an estimation of commercial applicability and market size.

Please contact Program Manager Heidi Mergenthaler with any questions about the application process.

Schedule of Events

Entrants will be invited to make oral presentations to a distinguished panel of judges to compete for the cash prizes.

2017 Winners

  • 1st Place: EcoFemina – Anis Kallel
  • 2nd Place: Proteus Medical – Chandler Woo, Edward Ruppel, and Connor McBride
  • 3rd Place: Meliora Homes – Omar Soufan, Ibrahim Mohammad, Edgar Alaniz, and Carlos “Yuki” Gonzalez

2016 Winners

  • 1st Place: Pollinate Publicity – Jeff Hrebenach, Morgan Mehring, Max Sims, and Wilfred Wallis
  • 2nd Place (TIE): AnesthEZ – Syed Reefar Aziz and Rose Mbaye
  • 2nd Place (TIE): Scoliosis Brace Compliance – Marlen Mahendraratnam and Samuel Perakis

2015 Winners

  • 1st Place: Nullspace – Lucian Copeland and Alexander Matthers
  • 2nd Place: SimuClage – Isabella Cazacu, Brittanie Kilchoer, Jennifer Park, Melinda Vander Horst, and Jacob Bohannon
  • 3rd Place (TIE): Blackout Games – Kedarnath Balaji Shashidhar, David Porter, and Dan Hassin
  • 3rd Place (TIE): CampusFly – Ervis Vukaj, Rikesh Thapa, Nicholas Falcone, and Charlie Kelman
  • 3rd Place (TIE): Teamo – Nick Brown, Pedro Vallejo-Ramirez, and Anis Kallel

2014 Winners

  • 1st Place: UR DermMates – Kyle Fedorchak and Qihui (Fiona) Pu
  • 2nd Place: Hemo-Box – Courtney Astemborski and Chad Pickering
  • 3rd Place (TIE): Cognitive – Charlie Henick
  • 3rd Place (TIE): Ovlay – Joung Yoon (Felix) Kim

2013 Winners

  • 1st Place: Ovitz – Joung Yoon (Felix) Kim
  • 2nd Place (TIE): TrakOR – Sonja Page, Erin Schnellinger, Ankit Medhekar, W. Spencer Klubben, Matt Plakosh, and Michael Nolan
  • 2nd Place (TIE): Formation 3D – Steven Trambert, Alex Feiszli, and Eric Frank

2012 Winners

  • 1st Place: MonoMano – Travis Block, Sara Hutchinson, Dominic Marino, David Narrow, and Martin Szeto
  • 2nd Place (TIE): Droplets, Inc. – Max Greenberg
  • 2nd Place (TIE): FloMaR – Margaret Fettis, Garrett Goss, Catherine Marando, Zachary Milstone, and Kimberly Ornell

2011 Winners

  • 1st Place: OmNeo, LLC – Benjamin Freedman and Johanna Kelly
  • 2nd Place (TIE): DonDoff Solutions – Swapna Kumar, Jacy Bulaon, and Frances Bell
  • 2nd Place (TIE): gluComfort – Elie Glik, Brett Sternfield, and Zeyu Zhao
  • 3rd Place: Aegis Technology – Adam Kozak

2010 Winners

  • 1st Place: Arm EmBrace – Sara Ripp and Kerry Wang
  • 2nd Place: DPN Diagnostics – Nicole Telleri and Evan Vandegriff
  • 3rd Place: SimuMed Technologies – Justin Chang and Dan Mendelson

For Forbes winners from 1990 to 2009, visit the Hajim School website.

Apply

Need an Idea?

Contact UR Ventures. UR Ventures has several interesting and viable patents that can be used as the basis of a business idea.

Questions?

Contact Heidi Mergenthaler, Program Manager.