Three takeaways from UB’s Panasci startup contest | Business Local

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Three takeaways from UB’s Panasci startup contest 

“Ready, set, pitch,” the viewers referred to as out as every of the College at Buffalo’s greatest scholar startups started their two-minute shows. 

5 of UB’s prime entrepreneurial groups competed April 20 for a $25,000 grand prize within the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition.

Group Actual Speak, an ed-tech startup that helps organizations pursue range, fairness and inclusion within the office, walked away with the enormous examine whereas RHM Improvements gained the $10,000 second place prize for its bathe chair attachment that helps the aged and disabled bathe independently.

Individuals are additionally studying…

The annual startup contest is a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship on UB’s campus and a chance for scholar entrepreneurs to make connections with folks within the native tech and startup group who will help them develop their companies. 

Listed below are three takeaways from this 12 months’s Panasci competitors. 

Panasci startup competition

Sonya Tareke, left, and Malkijah Griffiths with Group Actual Speak gained first place within the College at Buffalo’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition.

Of the 5 finalist groups, 4 had been tech-based, that are precisely the forms of corporations the Buffalo-Niagara area is trying to appeal to. 

As soon as they get off the bottom, tech corporations have the potential to scale up quickly, injecting cash into the native financial system and creating well-paying jobs. 

“The Panasci competition helped us solidify how we will contribute to the region’s economic development – providing new jobs and opportunities to upcoming professionals,” mentioned Malkijah Griffiths, one of many founders of Group Actual Speak who’s at present pursuing grasp’s levels in public well being and enterprise administration at UB.

Along with Group Actual Speak and NetWorthy, the opposite tech corporations that competed at Panasci had been Sentrify and Open Beats. 

Sentrify is a platform digital content material creators can use to centralize their content material so their viewers can discover their movies, podcasts and blogs multi functional place. Open Beats is a cloud-based collaborative music studio that lets artists work on initiatives remotely in actual time. 

2. Taking cues from 43North 

Organizers modified this 12 months’s Panasci finale to be extra just like the 43North startup competitors’s finals.

Every of the ultimate 5 groups had two minutes to pitch their firm to a panel of judges and a room filled with spectators, adopted by two minutes of questions from the judges. They had been evaluated on how properly they described the feasibility and marketability of their enterprise, proved the necessity for his or her services or products and offered potential sources of capital.

The day earlier than, the entrepreneurs gave longer shows to the identical judges and obtained detailed suggestions and recommendation. 

This new format was not solely extra entertaining for the viewers, however gave the coed entrepreneurs expertise giving totally different sorts of pitches – a ability that may assist them as they go on to develop their corporations exterior of UB.

Panasci organizers added for the primary time a folks’s selection class, chosen by the viewers. NetWorthy, a private finance device aimed in school college students, took house the $1,000 prize. 

3. Constructing a greater future for generations 

The Panasci contest is usually a steppingstone for college students to launch their companies to success past UB. 

Campus Labs, initially referred to as Pupil Voice, was the first winner of Panasci in 2001 and is amongst Western New York’s greatest startup successes. The corporate offered for greater than $90 million in 2015 and later merged with two different corporations to kind Anthology. 

Earlier winners and finalists have additionally gone on to boost tens of millions in funding from buyers and different startup contests. 

Panasci startup competition

Second-place winner Courtney Burris, with RHM Improvements Inc., reveals off the bathe assist for bodily compromised people through the Panasci startup competitors on the UB Incubator on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

Robert Kirkham

Any of this 12 months’s finalists might go on to see the identical success as Campus Labs. Such success couldn’t solely change their lives, however the lives of future generations, mentioned LaTanya White, a racial fairness entrepreneurship knowledgeable and educator. She additionally served as a decide. 

“What UB is doing with Panasci is literally changing the course of generations to come,” she mentioned.

“It’s amazing to see what students are thinking about and the ideas that you were presenting to us,” White mentioned. “So hats off to you for that.”

Need to know extra? Two tales to catch you up:

Welcome to Buffalo Subsequent. This article from The Buffalo Information will convey you the most recent protection on the altering Buffalo Niagara financial system – from actual property to well being care to startups. Learn extra at


5 reads from Buffalo Subsequent:

  1. Energy road map calls for sweeping changes for WNY homeowners. A brand new statewide vitality plan being debated would regularly part out using pure gasoline in houses and buildings, in favor of better reliance on electrical energy.

  2. Workers hard to find? Auto dealers build direct path from college to a job. SUNY Erie Group School has partnered with two native automobile sellers on a program to coach badly wanted auto technicians.

  3. M&T about halfway to hiring goal of 1,000 technologists. The financial institution is hiring tech expertise from exterior Buffalo, from universities the financial institution has focused, and now, from underserved populations in Buffalo, too.

  4. Newly licensed Western New York marijuana growers anxious to be on forefront of state’s cannabis market. The Releaf Market in Jamestown and Yager Farms in Eden are among the many 52 growers granted the primary licenses to domesticate adult-use leisure marijuana within the state.

  5. Developer Paul Bliss seeks Amherst tax breaks for suburban mixed-use project. Bliss desires to assemble an 80,000-square-foot constructing and 6 connected townhomes on a pair of vacant tons on Important Avenue, close to the intersection with Transit Street.

The Buffalo Subsequent staff offers you the massive image on the area’s financial revitalization. E-mail tricks to or attain know-how and startups reporter Natalie Brophy at

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