Winners chosen for Syracuse Business Plan Competition
Winners chosen for Syracuse Business Plan CompetitionJune 02, 2003Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
A company selling organic fertilizer won first prize in the business plan competition sponsored by the School of Management’s Program in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) and Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship. Its creator was awarded $25,000 to start his business.
Don Stanton, an Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises major who graduated this May, will use the money to start Tanglewood Gardens. The company will market high-grade natural fertilizer that “nourishes the soil and leaves a residual effect for up to three years.” The fertilizer will be sold directly and through intermediaries.
Second place went to ScapeWiz, a business-to-business company providing supply-chain and project management solutions to landscaping professionals. Through an interactive software program, landscapers will be able to order supplies and have them delivered to their places of work, reducing the time needed to order and schedule materials and eliminating pick-up time. Jamie Keefer, Brian Robey, Toneil Speidel and Bill Gabrielli, all of whom earned M.B.A.s in May, shared the $10,000 prize.
Third place went to Science Academy Schools, a proposed college preparatory charter school with an innovative curriculum emphasizing math, science and technology. Sharing the $5,000 prize were Bulent Cetinkaya, a doctoral student in math education; Metin Oguzmert, a doctoral student in civil engineering; and Huseyin Polat, a doctoral student in computer science.
The creative excellence award went to TVReruns.com, a company that will offer an eclectic mix of syndicated television programming via broadband access on the Internet. The company’s founders are Liz Rippetoe, an undergraduate marketing major; Leslie Coe, a dual retail and marketing major; and Corey Marsh, a dual finance and television, radio and film major.
Cookie Creations, where consumers decorate their own freshly baked cookies, won the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award. Its founders are Sandra Palestine, a dual advertising and psychology major; and Maria Costanzo, a public relations major who graduated in May.
The Dreamers and Doers Award went to DefenseShield, Inc., and its founders, Collins White, a May M.B.A. graduate; and Theresa Brigandi, an advertising student. The company will sell a line of standalone, portable, bullet-resistant partitions to law enforcement agencies, prisons, embassies and the military.
“We believe the Syracuse Business Plan Competition is beginning to emerge as one of the premium competitions in the country,” says Michael Morris, Witting Chair in Entrepreneurship and director of the EEE program. “With almost 70 entries from every part of the campus and a rigorous four-month selection process, what emerges are some great concepts that should become highly successful ventures.”
The competition, which began in December 2002, included 67 teams competing through several rounds of elimination by submitting initial concept summaries, first drafts of completed plans, final drafts of completed plans and two rounds of oral presentations. Sixteen teams took part in the finals.
The competition was created by a gift of $1 million from Henry A. Panasci Jr., chair of Cygnus Management Group, a Syracuse-based venture capital and management consulting firm. He was a co-founder and CEO of Syracuse-based Fay’s Inc. until 1996, when it was sold to a national retail chain. Additional corporate sponsors of the competition include the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck, & King, PLLC, and the accounting firm Ernst and Young LLP.