Finalists for Syracuse Startup Labs 2014 competition included these students who began their companies at the Student Sandbox in the summer of 2013.
By: J.D. Ross
This evening, the Syracuse Startup Labs business competition announced the three finalists for the 2014 program. The lineup included two companies that got their start at Syracuse University’s Student Sandbox.
The three companies, Centscere, Crowsnest and Regattable will spend the rest of January improving their products, and competing for $200,000 worth of funding and prizes. Each company has already received $20,000 in seed funding to help them build out over the next three weeks. At stake is a grand prize of $150,000 of funding, as well as a marketing and branding package worth $50,000.
“It’s pretty unique that Syracuse University has sponsored two of the three companies here,” remarked Seth Mulligan, Vice President for Innovation Services at the Tech Garden.
The Tech Garden is the host for the Syracuse Startup Labs program. This is the second year that Startup Labs has held a competition in Syracuse, and Syracuse is the only U.S. city to have the program.
Both Centscere and Regattable spent the summer of 2013 going through the Student Sandbox incubator. The twelve-week program provides student companies with the opportunity to tap into valuable mentorship resources and gain seed funding.
“Being in an entrepreneurial environment was motivating, and seeing others succeed motivated us to improve as a team,“ said Ian Dickerson, Co-Founder and CEO of Centscere.
Centscere allows social media users to donate a portion of their online activity to different charities. Users can attach a donation amount to each Tweet they send on Twitter, Facebook Like, and/or status update they write.
Regattable is creating high-performance portable catamaran sailboats that fold down to two briefcase-sized packages.
“At the Student Sandbox, we were able to reach out and find the solutions to improve our product and business model,” said Nicholas Poorman, Regattable's co-founder.
At the conclusion of the 22-day program, the three teams will pitch in a demo day competition. Prizes will be presented at CenterState CEO’s annual meeting in April.