Syracuse University students Josh Aviv and Jaydeep Sathe receive $100,000 for the first place finish of their company SparkCharge at the New York Business Plan Competition at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany on Friday, April 28, 2017, at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany.
SparkCharge is a virtual member of The Tech Garden's Clean Tech Center.
The student startup competition is in its eighth year and gives out $500,000 in cash and additional business services to the winners. SEFCU, the Albany-based credit union, is the title sponsor of the event, which is hosted by SUNY Poly and the University at Albany.
This year's final round featured 103 student teams from across the state, including many from the Capital Region. The winning team from Syracuse was led by Joshua Aviv, the founder and CEO of a startup called SparkCharge that is developing a portable electric vehicle battery charger that can fit in the trunk of a car or be stored in a building.
In addition to the grand prize, SparkCharge also won a $10,000 first-place prize for the clean technology category, one of six categories including advanced technology, social entrepreneurship/nonprofit, information technology/software, products, and services. NYSERDA, the state's renewable energy development agency, sponsored the clean tech category.
Second-place winners for each category were also given $5,000, and third-place winners received $1,500.
Although no Capital Region student teams posted first- or second-place finishes, a student team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy running a startup called Sanguine Diagnostics won third place in the advanced technology category.
Also, students from Hudson Valley Community College in Troy were part of a student team with students from the University at Buffalo and Clarkson University that won the Undergraduate Excellence Award in the product category. That team won for a startup called StairSafe.
Since the competition began in 2010, more than 2,100 student teams from 75 colleges and universities in the state have been awarded more than $2.3 million in cash and services.
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