Syracuse University’s first Entrepreneur in Residence, John Liddy, will be on the SU Quad on Tuesday, April 6, from noon-2:30 p.m. handing out $5 checks for great ideas. Students from any major are encouraged to pitch their business ideas to John.

The catch? The $5 checks are redeemable at Emerging Talk.

Emerging Talk is a venue, an entrepreneurial conversation and a Central New York network for student start-ups and the donors who support them. Emerging Talk will award $100,000 in monetary and non-monetary prizes to registered, attending students.

Awards range from free legal advice to thousands of dollars in seed funding to Apple iPads. The event is being held on April 28 from 6-8 p.m. at the Syracuse Technology Garden. It’s free and open to anyone interested in attending.

“If you’re a passionate, creative student with the drive to start a business, I want to talk to you,” says Liddy. “We have resources at SU for students who are starting a business. My goal is to help students take their ideas to the next level and let them know that we’re ready to support them.”

Students who have a business idea to share should be able to answer a few questions in clear and concise language, Liddy says. “A good model is to hit the ’so what,’ ‘who cares’ and ‘why you’ questions,” he says. “What is your product/service, including business model? Who is the customer–specific, not ‘the Internet’? What sustainable competitive advantage do you have that will ensure success?”

Many entrepreneurs find their business ideas by solving simple problems that plagued them. That could mean creating a way to convert a dorm bed to a sofa, developing a system to manage your personal profile online or crafting a date-rape prevention straw that changes color when a drug has been added to a drink. All of these are current SU student start-up ideas.

Other entrepreneurs find that they can turn their hobbies into a full-time career. That might mean uploading hand-drawn characters into a video game to fight each other (check out or attracting advertisers to post on a personal blog.

John on the Quad is ready to hear ideas.

To register for Emerging Talk, visit

Several entrepreneurial resources are available to SU students:

  • The Accelerator has three main components, all aligned to maximize the success of student start-ups: courses, iVenture and the Student Sandbox at the Syracuse Technology Garden. The courses are designed to 1) assemble innovative students across the SU campus, 2) organize teams around viable student business ideas and 3) coach students toward a business launch.
  • iVenture is a student-run organization focused on finding and matching student talent across the SU campus. Students who need help creating the appropriate team for their start-up can find the necessary skill sets at
  • The Syracuse Student Sandbox is an incubator for student-run businesses. It provides an experiential environment with access to professional resources, investors, business mentoring, legal advice, and technical and subject matter support.
  • The Orange Tree Fund provides seed funding to facilitate student ventures at SU. Funding is awarded to student companies to cover start-up expenses.