Student ventures vie for slices of $35K+ in start-up funding at 2014 Panasci Business Plan Competition


The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship and the Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University announce a call for submissions for the 2014 Panasci Business Plan Competition. The competition accepts business plan ideas from graduate and undergraduate students in all schools and colleges at SU and SUNY-ESF. The two-day competition will take place April 11-12, 2014.

“Panasci is one of the premier campus-wide business plan competitions in the country. It brings together some of Syracuse University’s best and brightest who have a unique idea and have done the hard work of putting together a thoughtful business plan,” notes Terry Brown, executive director of the Falcone Center. “Over the past several years, the competition has become more intense as the quality and creativity of business ideas has significantly improved.”

On the first day of competition, 16 semi-finalist teams will be selected to present to a panel of expert judges. Five teams will advance and compete for the grand prize on the second day. The top three teams, chosen based on their plan’s potential for growth and attraction of outside financing, are awarded prizes of $20,000, $7,500 and $2,500 respectively.

Additional financing is awarded to three teams deemed to have an idea with the greatest potential for positive impact on society and the natural environment (Fetner Prize in Sustainable Enterprise: $5,000) and the idea that exhibits leading-edge technology and innovation (Goldberg Prize in Technology & Innovation: $2,500).

“My experience writing the business plan and pitching my business to potential investors was unequivocally the most valuable experience I've had at my time in school,” says Scott Friedberg ’14 BS. “If anyone is serious about starting a business, Panasci is a must.”

Throughout the spring semester, teams will work to write a comprehensive business plan. EEE faculty members will work with students to improve their business plans for the competition in a weekly business plan laboratory. The Falcone Center also offers special sessions with partnering accounting and law firms, providing financial presentations and critical guidance in areas such as intellectual property.

To participate, intent to compete and entrant certification forms are both due by January 16, 2014. Printed copies of the forms are available at the Falcone Center, Suite 116 in the Whitman School. Teams may also register online. An orientation to the competition will be held on Thursday, January 16 at 7PM in Whitman SOM Room 101 and is open to all students.

Notable winners of previous Panasci competitions include thriving businesses Dream Water, an all-natural liquid sleep supplement; Rylaxing LLC, named one of America’s Coolest College Start-ups by Inc. magazine; and James Barrett Co., an apparel company.

The Panasci competition is made possible by support from Henry A. Panasci, founder of Fay’s Drugs and former chairman of Cygnus Management Group, a venture capital and management consulting firm.

For more information, contact Lindsay Wickham, Falcone Center events and communications manager, at (315) 443-3550 or lwickham@syr.edu.