Since its inception 21 years ago, the University at Buffalo’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC) has motivationally and financially spurred on some outstanding WNY startups. The highly esteemed competition is in part thanks to its creators – UB School of Management and the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships – with funding generated by a $1 million endowment from the late Henry A. Panasci Jr.
This fierce (yet fun) competition helps to properly prepare fledgling start-ups, by providing the teams with coaching and mentoring from some of the finest tech-business minds in the area. Winners not only walk away with funding, they are also recipients of in-kind awards. This year’s winning team – Opollo Technologies (a fintech health care AI startup) – was whittled down from 30 first-round pitches and 11 semifinalists.
The two entrepreneurs behind Opollo, Ryan Young, MD/MBA ’21, and Anders Rosén, MBA ’21, managed to nab a $25,000 prize, along with in-kind services valued at $27,000.
Opollo will use the infusion of funding and in-kind services to further build out its cloud-based machine-learning algorithm enterprise that more accurately predicts the length of surgeries, thus allowing its health care facility customers to “free up” extra time that can then be slotted for health insurance companies on the Opollo Exchange. The technology basically commoditizes these typically unpredictable and underutilized time slots, by converting them into more productive operating room schedules.
“Our experiences at UB have been amazing,” says Young (lead image), Opollo’s founder and CEO. “There are so many people at the university and the larger Buffalo startup community who will drop everything to help you!”
The competition’s second place prize of $10,000 was awarded to Layer Slayers, described as “a proprietary cloud-based education platform for 3D printing that enables companies to take advantage of additive manufacturing technologies.”
A People’s Choice award in the amount of $1,000 went to BOSQ, a breast pump start-up that provides a “personalized experience” for nursing mothers.
Lead image: Ryan Young, MD/MBA ’21, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences/School of Management. Photo Illustration: Douglas Levere.