Five teams enter final round of UB entrepreneurship competition

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: April 10, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Five teams will vie for more than $60,000 in startup funding and in-kind services in the final round of the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC) on April 15 in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts.

Selected from a record 33 first-round pitches, the finalists feature a diverse array of ventures: Buffalo Automation Group, a robotics startup that develops self-navigating technology for boats and ships; SMART WALLS, deployable, precast concrete walls used to protect buildings or entire neighborhoods against water-related hazards; PhotoZyne, a biotechnology venture that has developed a novel therapeutic agent delivery platform; College Underground, an app that connects college students with relevant on-campus information; and Pawraiser, a crowdfunding platform to raise money for animals in need.

Since the competition began, 14 local businesses have launched with the first-place prize money, and most remain in business today. The first Panasci TEC champs sold their business, Campus Labs, for $40 million in 2012.

This year, the team that presents the best plan for launching a viable new business in Western New York will earn $25,000 in seed money.

In addition, the winning team will receive in-kind awards worth $27,000 for legal services from Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP; accounting services from Kopin & Co. P.C.; human resource startup services from the People Plan by HR Foundations Inc.; business development services from the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR); and office space from North Forest Office Space.

The second-place team will collect $10,000 in startup funding.

In the finals, teams will deliver 10-minute presentations. They will be judged on how well they describe the feasibility and marketability of their venture, prove the need for their idea and present potential sources of capital.

Panasci TEC was created by the UB School of Management and STOR and is funded with a $1 million endowment from the late Henry A. Panasci Jr.

Facilitated by the UB School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, the competition brings together UB students from science, technology, business and other disciplines to maximize their potential and create viable businesses in Western New York.

Details and photo opportunities:

4:30-4:45 p.m.    Welcome remarks

4:45-6:30 p.m.    Team presentations

6:30-7:30 p.m.    Reception

7:30-8 p.m.         Presentation of awards and closing remarks

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management
Tel: 716-645-2833