COVID-19 has had an unsettling impact on Buffalo. There are countless negatives, to be sure. That said, there have been some shining moments, many of which revolve around virtual Zoom participation by the public. The video conference platform has provided access for people to peer into worlds that they might not ever have know about, let alone intimately. For example, UB’s annual Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC).
This competition has recognized and awarded funding and services to some very deserving tech-driven start-ups over the years, many of which you can see here. Combined, these winners have helped to change the face of Buffalo in various ways, from automation to life sciences.
The Panasci TEC was created by the UB School of Management and the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, and is funded with a $1 million endowment from the late Henry A. Panasci Jr. to facilitate and promote the commercialization of UB-generated technologies.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the award ceremony, which will be presented virtually, for all to view. 2020’s five finalists have been whittled down from 32 first-round pitches and 11 semifinalists. Vying business concepts include:
- An immune cell isolation, analysis and storage company that provides basic cryopreservation services for healthy clients
- A leak-sensing film that works with an app to monitor patients who have had intestinal repairs
- An interactive virtual reality software platform that simulates stressful environments to better prepare health care providers
- An app that uses algorithms to recommend meal options based on health goals, taste preferences, budget and ingredient optimization
- A next generation wind turbine designed to revolutionize the small wind industry
The teams will be evaluated on:
- How well they describe the feasibility and marketability of their venture
- Prove the need for their product or service
- Present potential sources of capital
The winning team will be awarded $52,000 in startup funding and business services and perks, including:
In-kind awards valued at $27,000 for legal services from Colligan Law LLP, accounting services from Lumsden & McCormick LLP, human resource services from the People Plan from HR Foundations Inc., and business development services from the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships and Western New York Incubator Network, with office space from North Forest Office Space.
UB’s 20th annual Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition
First Place: $25,000 cash seed funding | $27,000 in-kind services
Second Place: $10,000 cash seed funding
Friday, September 18, 2020
Zoom Web Conference | Register at tinyurl.com/PanasciFinals2020
Learn more about each finalist team by following on Instagram: @launchpad_ub
Winners will be announced at a reception immediately following the last team presentation
Hosted by the UB School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) and Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at UB, the event brings together UB students from science, technology, business and other disciplines to maximize their potential and create viable businesses in Western New York.