This shark tank-style pitch competition provides five University of Rochester student startups from diverse disciplines and schools with an opportunity to compete in front of a panel of esteemed judges for substantial cash prizes and a GSV Passport™ from GSVlabs, which offers access to 100+ mentors, 100s of templates and guides, and $450,000 in free and discounted services..

In light of the pandemic, the event is going virtual in 2020 with student teams invited to submit polished video pitches in advance. A synchronous remote event showcasing the videos and teams, followed by a live Q&A with the judges will take place in front of a virtual audience.

2020 Teams

2020 teams to be announced late September 2020! 

2019 Teams

  • EZ Water – Kareem Abdelmaqsood ’22; Afnan Ahmed ’21; Sara Anis ’20; Claude Mulini ’22
  • Humans for Education – Jeff Beard ’23M (PhD); Daphne Pariser ’20M (PhD)
  • Prosthesis for a New Syria – Ibrahim Mohammad ’17, ’24 (PhD); Omar Soufan ’17, ’18 (MS)
  • WetWare BioSystems – Andrew Kaseman ’21; Scott McKinney ’21; Bradley Smith ’20

2020 Emcee

2020 emcee to be announced late September 2020!

2020 Judges

Quincy Allen ’93S (MBA) (CMO, IBM Corporation)

Quincy earned a BS in electrical engineering from Northeastern University and completed his MBA in 1993 with a concentration in Marketing and Entrepreneurship at U of R. Quincy is currently employed by IBM Corporation and has worked in the areas of Cloud and Artificial Intelligence. He was previously the CEO of a marketing services company and an executive at Xerox. Quincy has also served as an independent director for Gateway and NCR Corp. Additionally, he is a member of the corporation for Northeastern University. Quincy has been an active member of the University of Rochester’s Parent Council. He has given multiple talks for the Simon Business School and is currently a prolific and enthusiastic volunteer for the University’s football program.

Brennan Mulcahey ’09, ’11S (MBA) (Partner, 424 Capital; Chair, Ain Center Advisory Council)

Brennan is a partner with 424 Capital and enjoys working with teams that are passionate about the impact they can create by taking their business to the next level. He takes stewardship of the companies he works with seriously and is dedicated to helping his portfolio companies develop as organizations. Brennan works closely with the entrepreneurs that 424 Capital backs to build an effective culture for growth and detailed plans to scale rapidly. Currently, Brennan serves on the board of CSS Health and is the Chairman of the Board for Medicus IT, LearnWell, and iTrac. Brennan is Chairman of the advisory committee at the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship and serves on the Newman Advisory board at the University of Rochester. Academically Brennan completed his BA in Financial Economics at the University of Rochester and holds his MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the Simon School of Business.

2019 Emcee

  • John Moran ’89 (CEO & CMO, Blue Wave Marketing)

2019 Judges

  • Quincy Allen ’93S (MBA) (CMO, IBM Corporation)
  • Alyssa Carrizales ’20S (MBA) (Founder, 10Ray; Managing Director, Simon School Venture Fund)
  • Theresa Mazzullo (CEO, Excell Partners, Inc.)
  • Brennan Mulcahey ’09, ’11S (MBA) (Partner, Brook Venture Partners; Chair, Ain Center Advisory Council)

2020 Winners

2020 winner(s) to be announced in November!

2019 Winner

  • WetWare Biosystems – Andrew Kaseman ’21, Scott McKinney ’22, and Bradley Smith ’20, ’21 (e5)

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.


Contact Heidi Mergenthaler, Program Manager.