In 1978, Cliff Ensley ’69, ’70, G’71 had an idea to start his own business and just $2,500 to do it. He was used to taking on challenges—there was no stopping him. Growing up, he struggled with a learning disability—at…
Looking for Innovators for ACC InVenture Prize: Apply by Feb. 9
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is on a talent search for top student innovators who are inventing the future. Teams from Syracuse University are now being recruited for the InVenture Prize, a televised “Shark Tank”-style competition open to student startups at the 15 colleges and universities that are part of the ACC Academic Consortium.
The InVenture Prize Competition offers the only chance for ACC student innovators and inventors to compete in a televised pitch event in front of a live audience. Last year, Syracuse University entrepreneur Kate Beckman ’17, founder of FreshU and now a graduate student in the Newhouse School, made it to the final five at Georgia Tech, which was broadcast live and streamed by PBS.
The Blackstone LaunchPad at Bird Library will be hosting the campus qualifier to pick the top team to represent Syracuse University. Online applications are due Feb. 9, with a campus pitch competition on Feb. 16. The winning team selected by a panel of judges will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Georgia Tech in Atlanta for the finals April 5-6, and a chance to compete for $30,000 in prize funding.
“Syracuse University has a very long and impressive culture and track record of innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly. “This is a great opportunity for our incredibly talented students and recent graduates to go toe-to-toe with their ACC peers for prize money to launch their next venture.”
David Seaman, dean of libraries and University Librarian, adds, “Syracuse University Libraries are delighted to enhance the entrepreneurship ecosystem at Syracuse University through the successful mentoring and expert advice provided by the Blackstone LaunchPad on the first floor of Bird Library, and the lively community of students who use this innovation space day and night.”
In addition to Syracuse University, the 15 participating colleges are: Boston College, Clemson University, Duke University, Florida State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina State, University of Notre Dame, University of Louisville, University of Miami, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Pittsburgh, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and Wake Forest University.
- Each university finalist team may be composed of full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students or recent graduates of the university within one year of graduation from their undergraduate program.
- If a team member is a recent graduate of the university, the idea for the invention must have been initially conceived while the student was enrolled as an undergraduate.
- Full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students must comprise at least 50 percent of the registered team members. Individual teams with only one student are eligible to compete.
- Teams with generated revenue or venture capital funding in excess of $100,000 are not eligible to compete.
- Entrants should be the original creators, inventors or owners of the intellectual property (IP) underlying their invention. Any co-invention with non-students or any other third party outside the university must be fully disclosed during registration to determine if the outside contribution was substantial. A team whose idea or invention qualifies as university-owned IP is not eligible to enter.
Applications may be submitted online. Applicants selected for the Syracuse competition will create a pitch deck for the campus competition. Coaching in advance of the campus finals is available through the Blackstone LaunchPad and the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship’s Couri Hatchery. Students who participated in Invent@SU—the Syracuse University invention accelerator— are strongly encouraged to apply.
Students may make appointments to meet at the Blackstone LaunchPad with experts from the U.S. Small Business Administration and New York State Small Business Development Center for technical assistance. Appointments for coaching or meetings with business advisors or professional service providers can be made by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Syracuse University
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is a private international research university dedicated to advancing knowledge and fostering student success through teaching excellence, rigorous scholarship and interdisciplinary research. Comprising 11 academic schools and colleges, the University has a long legacy of excellence in the liberal arts, sciences and professional disciplines that prepares students for the complex challenges and emerging opportunities of a rapidly changing world. Students enjoy the resources of a 270-acre main campus and extended campus venues in major national metropolitan hubs and across three continents. Syracuse’s student body is among the most diverse for an institution of its kind across multiple dimensions, and students typically represent all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Syracuse also has a long legacy of supporting veterans and is home to the nationally recognized Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the first university-based institute in the U.S. focused on addressing the unique needs of veterans and their families.