Skip to content

RvD iPrize

RvD iPrize Logo

The Competition

The Raymond von Dran (RvD) Fund for Student Entrepreneurship at the School of Information Studies is hosting a pitch competition for entrepreneurial students at Syracuse University.

The RvD Fund is named after former iSchool dean Raymond Von Dran. He served from 1995 to 2007, when he passed away. Ray was a long-time academic entrepreneur who started many innovative programs in higher education and supported student innovation and entrepreneurship. His wife, Gisela, ensured that her husband’s infectious spirit for innovation lived on through the creation of the RvD fund after his death.

$40,000 is available for Syracuse students via the RvD iPrize - awarded to top participants in the competition, held every year in March.

Competition Tracks

Student teams can submit an application for one of the following categories:

  • Information Technology / Software
    Any idea, technology, product, and/or service that relates to apps, informational technology, software, and/or internet applications in for profit enterprises. If the value that your idea or technology provided lies in the creation of or is delivered through an app, then you belong in this category. 

    Examples: An app that helps pairs potential roommates, a website/app that uses social media to collect payments from friends, a web service designed to tailor resumes for specific jobs, a file sharing service, an app or website that aggregates data and reviews about solar panel installers.

  • Products
    Any physical, tangible goods offered for sale.

    Examples: Custom designer eyewear, vending machine, protein shakes, craft beer or alcoholic beverages, innovative water bottle, locally sourced tea, camera backpack.

  • Services
    A value add process for delivering products of fulfilling customer needs.

    Examples: Videography company, meal delivery, custom clothing design, custom song writing service.

  • Sustainable and Social Entrepreneurship
    Any idea, product, and/or service that addresses an environment or social need, for which profit is not the primary motivation, or provides a product/service for social responsible and environmentally conscious enterprises. If formed, the venture would be either a for-profit entity, Benefit corporation or be eligible for 501(c) status.

    Examples: Recycling technology, LED manufacturing technology, lithium ion batteries, clean energy crowd funding service, composting subscription service. Selling a good or service that raises awareness and donates significant portion of the revenues to a cause, organization that provides financial literacy training, cooperative non-profit coffee shop, bike trail, a website to connect community members with volunteer opportunities.

Teams are required to indicate which category they are applying for on the application and provide a one sentence explanation of why they feel they should compete in the category that they are applying in.

Events and Competition Preparation

The iSchool and the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University organize application workshops to help Syracuse students prepare for the competition. Workshops will be held in the LaunchPad space in Bird Library, with dates and times announced early in the Spring semester.

Faculty Mentorship

iSchool faculty members in the Information Technology, Design, and Startups program and Blackstone Launchpad staff are available to work with and mentor Syracuse students participating in the competition.

Braden Croy, Program Manager at the Blackstone LaunchPad
John Liddy, Adjunct Professor, and Director, Syracuse Student Sandbox incubator
Marcene Sonneborn, Assistant Professor of Practice

Questions about the iPrize and Compete CNY can be addressed to Braden Croy.


The application link will be available early in the Spring semester.


Back to top