From right, Entrepreneurship Contest winners Sean Lewis, Andrew Haynes and Ashley Walker, were honored as the top three winners of the inaugurual event at the Technology Incubator on May 12.
On May 12, SUNY Fredonia's Technology Incubator honored three students who showcased creative ideas, technological innovations and potential new business concepts, all in hopes of winning a cash prize — as well as the chance to work with the incubator to advance their ideas and possibly become future tenants.
The first annual Entrepreneurship Contest was designed to raise awareness of the nature and culture of the incubator among the student body. It was open to students of any academic discipline, and drew an amazing 46 student proposals -- more than double the number which organizers originally anticipated.
The three winners, Sean Lewis, Andrew Haynes and Ashley Walker, were selected from a group of eight finalists. The 46 entries were judged by a six-member panel which included Incubator Director Robert Fritzinger; School of Business Dean Russ Boisjoly; Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies and Research Kevin Kearns; SellingHive Co-founder Robert Richardson; Lake Shore Savings Vice President Brian Lydic; and Incubator Project Staff Assistant Jennifer Reinhart.
The winning propsoals were as follows:
- First: "ShoMoh," by Sean Lewis, a junior Business Administration major
Shomoh is a crowd-sourced comparison-music engine which helps users and artists find, upload and share music locally. Knowing where and how to find or upload new music is hard, as the vast majority of local artists and music goes unrecognized. Lewis' ShoMoh fosters communities where sharing, rating and listening to local artists is made fun and easy through social recognition, competition, and monetary rewards. Local artists pay monthly subscription fees to broadcast their songs on an onsite radio, driving fan base and listeners to the site. Broadcast radius and frequency will drive pay-per-click advertising. Additional music-related advertisements exist to further an artist’s potential.
- Second: "Fetch," by Andrew Haynes, a senior Interdisciplinary-Music Business Major
Fetch is for those who believe the regional hospitality industry is due for a new face. Haynes hopes to rethink and recreate the hotel experience by developing a digital concierge that is accessible through kiosks, smartphones, laptops and televisions. The service will connect guests to the "buzz" of the hotel, allowing them to request services and interact with other guests. More importantly, it connects them to Western New York. Fetch believes technological tools can be more productive for a traveler. Server directories, mobile bandwidth and GPS technologies can be very effective at capturing local culture. The Western New York region is filled with treasures that aren't well enough known because brochures, flyers and video ads can't capture them in the right light. "Fetch is about exposing these gems to the user," says Haynes. "It's about delivering our way of life."
- Third: "Minds of Odyssey," by Ashley Walker, a senior Business Marketing major
The Odyssey of the Mind program is a well-known international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities to students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics, and compete at a regional, state or global levels. "Minds of Odyssey" is Walker's concept for a website which fills a void in the current program by creating a centralized portal to link all of the current efforts by providing an accessible medium to potential users. It would allow users to upload/view pictures and videos of the competition and performances, share their comments, questions, concerns, reactions and thoughts regarding the performances, and facilitate the expansion of the program as well as the site itself. Walker plans to attend the 2011 World’s Competition in College Park, Md., acquire footage and photos, develop a sign-in linkage with Facebook, visit nearby schools and colleges to promote the site, encourage participation in the program, and develop a submission box for users to offer their original ideas for Minds of Odyssey logos.
In addition to the incubator, the Entrepreneurship Contest was sponsored by Lake Shore Savings, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce, the Lawley-Tradition Agency, and incubator tenants SellingHive and Textivia.
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