Orange Tank recognizes Whitman’s entrepreneurial success thanks to alumni support – Syracuse University News

by MMC
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From a platform to connect athletes with marketing partnerships to a delicious sauce designed to introduce flavors from the Middle East and North Africa, companies featured at the ninth annual Orange Tank pitch competition have ​​showcased the true entrepreneurial spirit that drives the Whitman School of Management. .

three people standing holding a big check

Jack Adler ’23, G’24 (far right) received the $25,000 first prize for Out2Win Sports.

Held September 29 at the Whitman School, this “Shark Tank”-style competition featured ideas from Whitman students and alumni as they competed for cash prizes and valuable feedback from former entrepreneurs and judging professionals the event.

Forty-one companies were submitted for initial review this year, five of which were selected to participate in the competition based on various criteria ranging from market potential and good execution strategy to ability to protect intellectual property and business scalability.

Thanks to the continued generosity of John Couri, Whitman Advisory Council (WAC) member and Syracuse University Life trustee, John Couri ’63 (College of Arts and Sciences (A&S)), H’08, $35,000 in cash prizes for first, second and third place were awarded. to the competition.

New this year was the inaugural $10,000 Scrub Daddy Jumpstart Innovation Award presented by Aaron Krause ’92 (A&S), founder, president and CEO of Scrub Daddy, who also served as one of the Orange Tank judges during the competition. This year.

The five finalists presented a 5-minute pitch followed by a question-and-answer session with the judges, who, along with Krause, included Blake Brossman ’98 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), founder of PetCareRx; Molly Fisher ’08, G’12, Skiptown’s finance manager and Young Whitman advisory board member; and Keir Weimer ’11, founder and CEO of Weekender Hotels.

While the judges deliberated behind closed doors, Maria Minniti, chair of Whitman’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE), thanked the competition’s sponsors and gave the audience a glimpse of the exceptional work underway within the EEE department.

Event host and former Syracuse University and NFL football player, Derrell Smith ’10 (School of Information Studies), G’13 (Newhouse School of Public Communications), now entrepreneur, executive producer and host of “Mad Good Food” on Tastemade and CEO of 99EATS, then had a Q&A with Sam Hollander ’21 (Whitman/Newhouse). Hollander was one of last year’s Orange Tank winners with ShareClub, an entrepreneurial company that enhances the ownership experience for the everyday investor by providing the tools and resources needed to achieve their financial goals.

After much anticipation, the judges announced their decision and Jack Adler ’23, G’24 walked away with a top prize of $25,000 for Out2Win sports, a platform designed to streamline the way brands connect with athletes for marketing partnerships. Eric Marcarian ’06 received a second prize of $7,500 for Mission Focused Ethos, a digital solution designed for the military that provides a modernized method of inspecting aircraft, resulting in greater flight on-time performance; and Xheneta Sopjani G’24 won third place and $2,500 for Revive by Deinde, an at-home anti-aging device using non-invasive scientific technology.

“I was honored to win the grand prize among such a competitive pool of startups,” says Adler. “The prize money will legitimately help me take Out2Win Sports to the next level.”

Krause presented the Scrub Daddy Jumpstart Innovation Award to Natasha Brao ’22 (VPA), G’23, G’24 for Shooka, a spicy tomato sauce based on the classic North African and Middle Eastern dish Shakshuka. According to Krause, he chose Brao and its distinctive product because he “saw the potential to bring the product to market quickly.”

“Once again this year, the Orange Tank pitch competition was an opportunity to witness the level of innovative thinkers and amazing ideas coming from the Whitman School,” explains Minniti. “It’s thanks to the Whitman School’s EEE department faculty, our students, the judges and our generous donors that Orange Tank continues to be so successful. It’s exciting to see those with such an enthusiastic entrepreneurial spirit take the next step in turning good ideas into great ones.

Story of Caroline Reff

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