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2014 Elevator Pitch Competition

Two business ideas for smartphone apps took first place and a prize of $1,000 each in the University at Buffalo’s second annual Elevator Pitch Competition, held April 16, 2014 in the Student Union Theater on UB’s North Campus.

Undergraduate computer science students Joel Little and Robert Barber took one of the first place prizes for their idea for Ethos Studios, which would produce customized mobile video games for business marketing. Undergraduate accounting student Brittany Popovski was the other first place winner for ULock, an app that would lock students out of their cell phones so they can focus on studying.

The winners stood out among nearly 60 UB undergraduate and graduate students who pitched business ideas with novel solutions to real-world challenges. They had just 90 seconds to convince a panel of expert judges without the use of notes, slides or other visual aids.

Second place prizes of $500 each were awarded for pitches from Andrew Harris, Fred Lee, Anish Paul Anthony and David Murphy-Longhini.

Third place winners Prince Joseph, Geoffrey Gallson, Hosein Kerdar, Evan Cerasani and Thiru Vikram Suresh, each received a prize of $200.

“The pitch competition is part of a growing effort at UB to promote entrepreneurship, to realize the promise of UB 2020 and to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Western New York,” said Yong Li, PhD, academic director of UB’s Entrepreneurship Academy and associate professor of operations management and strategy in the UB School of Management.

The competition was sponsored by the UB Entrepreneurship Academy, the UB School of Management and the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR). Prizes were supported by the Bruce Holm Memorial Catalyst Fund.

UB Vice Provost Robert J. Genco and UB School of Management Dean Arjang Assad offered remarks to the competitors and audience members at the start of the event.

Judges for the competition were Andrew Shaevel, founder and CEO of Bobalew Ventures; Oded Spindel, senior venture analyst at Excell Partners; Robert Shaw, president of Superior Constructors Inc.; Diane McMahon, entrepreneurial services lead in the National Grid Program at the UB Center for Excellence; and Neil Arnold, angel investor at Western New York Venture Association.

2013 Pitch Competition Winners

Congratulations to the 2013 Elevator Pitch Competition winners:

1st place, $1,000 prizeI-Tri: Intuitive Triage Rapid Imaging: Kristina Monakhova, Sharon Lin, Alden Moy & Alexandra Van Hall

1st place, $1,000 prizeV.M.A.S: Virtual Medicine Assessment Simulator: Michael Radosta & Markel Vega

2nd place, $500 prizeE Bridge: Eric Kishel & Daniel Kleeschulte

2nd place, $500 prizeFuture Fitness: Elisabeth Clancy, Alex Schroth, Tom Sabbag, Molly Screiber, Vladimir Jovkovski

2nd place, $500 prizeEnergy Storage: Anish Paul Antony

3rd place, $300 prizeWeggyman at Your Door: Stephanie Marchante, Jonathan Marquez & Alberto Santiago

3rd place, $300 prizeOnline Sale of Arts: Jeffery Beacham, Girish Nair, Rao Pemmasani & Paul Zelepsky

3rd place, $300 prizeCampus Wide: Alex Killian

3rd place, $300 prizeOn Demand Hydrogen Energy: Phillip Tucciarone

3rd place, $300 prizePaintball Handles: George Kalkowsky

The 2013 Elevator Pitch Competition was sponsored by:

  • STOR: UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach
  • Undergraduate Academies: The Entrepreneurship Academy
  • University at Buffalo: The State University of New York

Last updated: July 23, 2014 3:46 pm EST