This shark tank-style pitch event during Meliora Weekend provides four University of Rochester student startup teams from diverse disciplines and schools with an opportunity to compete in front of a panel of esteemed judges for a $20,000 cash prize 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.

The event will feature the format and drama of the hit television series Shark Tank on ABC and is hosted by the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship.


EZ Water

Presenters: Kareem Abdelmaqsoud ’22, Afnan Ahmed ’21, Sara Anis ’20, and Claude Mulindi ’22

Supplying access to clean drinking water by providing cheap, reliable and quality drinking water to Pakistanis through a hyperlocal network of micropreneurs who leverage the power of modern Hollow Fiber Membrane technology to filter, bottle, and distribute water from under one roof.

Humans for Education

Presenters: Daphne Pariser ’20M (PhD) and Jeff Beard ’23 (PhD)

Developing affordable, rapid diagnostic tools easy enough for anyone to use.

WetWare Biosystems

Presenters: Andrew Kaseman ’21, Scott McKinney ’21, and Bradley Smith ’20

Utilizing novel biotechnology to preemptively mitigate neurotrauma resulting from athletic, civilian, and defense-related traumatic brain injuries.

Prosthesis for a New Syria

Presenters: Ibrahim Mohammad ’17, ’24 (PhD) and Omar Soufan ’17, ’18 (MS)

Providing amputees with low cost, customizable 3D printed prosthesis that can help them gain their independence.


John Moran ’89

CEO & CMO, Blue Wave Marketing

John Moran graduated with a BS in Optics in 1989 and upon graduation went on to work as a optical engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts. He subsequently founded Blue Wave Marketing, an integrated digital marketing agency, which he has operated as CEO for the past 25 years. John is also a real estate investor in Massachusetts. He started a California lifestyle apparel brand in 2005, is a published author and started a nonprofit organization, Grand Opportunity USA, or “GOUSA,” in 2018, where he advocates for freedom, liberty and opportunity for all in America. He presently resides in Billerica, Massachusetts, and has extended family members living in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Hawaii.


Quincy Allen ’93S (MBA)

Chief Marketing Officer, 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.

Alyssa Carrizales ’20S (MBA)

Founder, 10Ray; Managing Director, Simon School Venture Capital Fund

Alyssa is a Simon MBA Graduate student (’20). Before Simon, she spent five years in the startup space on founding teams of companies in the tech and retail industries. She also had experience founding her own company – consulting small and medium-sized businesses on analytics. Currently, she sits on the Management Team of the Simon School Venture Fund as President.

Theresa Mazzullo

CEO, Excell Partners Inc.

Theresa Mazzullo has been the CEO of Excell Partners since 2006. She has a 30-year track record in business, finance and entrepreneurship. Having owned and sold a small business, she brings firsthand knowledge, unique skills, and proven experience to the seed stage investment arena. In her role as CEO, her duties include governance, compliance, reporting, community integration, finance and fundraising. Her fundraising ability has resulted in bringing over $60 million into the upstate ecosystem for investments in high tech startups. Theresa spent six years as President & Principal of EPIC Advisors, Inc a 401(k) retirement plan company with $1.5 billion in retirement plan assets. As a former banker, Theresa held various positions within financial institutions, including a Senior Vice President of First National Bank, where she established and built a Trust and Investment Division while the bank was under a Consent Order by the office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Theresa is highly active in the community holding a number of board positions.

Brennan Mulcahey ’09, ’11S (MBA)

Partner, Brook Venture Partners LLC; Chair, Ain Center Advisory Council

Brennan is a partner with Brook Venture Partners and leads investments in Healthcare Technology and Tech Enabled Services companies.
Brennan 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 Brook Venture 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: WetWare BioSystems (Andrew Kaseman ’20, Scott McKinney ’22, and Bradley Smith ’20)

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.


Contact Heidi Mergenthaler, Program Manager.