National Student Entrepreneur-of-the-Year Award Program Winners
Sigma Nu Tau 1st Annual National Student Entrepreneur-of-the-Year Award
Andrew Bishop – Belmont University
1st Place Overall Winner & 1st Place Social Category – 2013
In 2009, Andrew Bishop enrolled in the Social Entrepreneurship Program at Belmont University and one year later he founded PhilanthroTeach Inc. The mission of PhilanthroTeach is to provide 21st century employability and lifestyle skills to unemployed and economically disadvantaged people and make them self-sustaining through the giving and support of the community. In order to achieve the mission of PhilanthroTeach, the organization offers two distinct programs: the Community Professors Program and the WorkReady Program. The Community Professors Program consists of a volunteer strategy that matches members of higher education and the business community with local non-profit organizations whose clients are in need of proper job readiness training. The WorkReady Program aims to reduce unemployment and poverty with the support of volunteer academics and business professionals by using an 8-week job readiness program. Andrew Bishop serves as executive director of PhilanthroTeach, which has gained federal IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and works with five non-profit community partners serving approximately 600 individuals through the different programs.
Daegan Gonyer – Clarkson University
First Runner Up & 1st Place – Main Street Category – 2013
While in graduate school Daegan Gonyer started Blue Sphere Industries, Ltd. with help from a team of students, and a professor. After a lot of time spent on configuring, planning and gaining funding through grants and business plan competitions, the firm constructed a pilot plant, which was an automated model of a “smart” farm that could potentially be developed into controlled environment high rise farms. This “smart” farm includes a greenhouse with solarthermal heating system and backup wood pellet boiler, an anaerobic digester that uses food waste to generate electricity, an aeroponic system and automated collection of temperature, humidity, light intensity, light quality, nutrient pH, nutrient concentration, water pressure and CO2 levels and alarm functionality were also created. Daegan pitched his project to a philanthropic investor in Colorado and gain a $250,000 revolving loan fund for student startups at Clarkson University. Currently, Blue Sphere Industries Ltd. is growing produce in their well-designed modular automated system located in the campus incubator, and selling it to ARAMARK, the campus foodservice.
Matthew Turcotte – Clarkson University
Second Runner Up & 1st Place – High Technology Category – 2013
While a junior in high school, Matthew Turcotte created North Shore Solutions, which provides Internet consulting services for clients around the world. More specifically, the company offers web design and development, logo design, domain name registration, hosting services, maintenance services and e-commerce solutions. North Shore Solutions operates two offices located in Potsdam and Clayton, NY and online with a team of virtual consultants. A new division of North Shore Solutions called North Shore Municipal Services was established to fill a gap in the market by offering affordable website solutions for small towns and villages within New York State. Matthew was featured in CNN Money, Business Week, and Absolutely Business for creatively trading 10% ownership in his business to Clarkson University in exchange for a full tuition scholarship worth approximately $150,000!
Congratulations to Sigma Nu Tau’s 2nd Annual National Student Entrepreneur-of-the-Year Award Program Winners
Dietrich Diehl- Clarkson University
1st Place- Overall Competition
In 2011, the OrdrIT concept was conceived at Clarkson University. It consists of four student entrepreneurs with various complementary backgrounds. OrdrIT is a mobile ordering platform that simplifies venue operations by enabling spectators to order and pay for concessions/ merchandise from their seats via their smartphones and venue operated E-hawking devices. OrdrIT also enables venues to capitalize on lost revenue opportunities and increase incremental revenues through live time promotions and directly marketing to a captive audience.
OrdrIT’s mission is to enhance the spectator experience and increase the bottom-line for venues. The company estimates their target market size to $10 billion in annual concession sales in North America. OrdrIt is currently operating in about 10 venues across the country and is in aiming to triple that number this year. The immediate goal is to secure about 20 Minor League Baseball (Milb) stadiums, to give OrdrIt a total of 30 venues. OrdrIt plans to switch gears and target indoor professional arenas, such as the NBA and the NHL, in the fall 2014.
Tyler Newkirk- Belmont University
1st Runner Up- Overall Competition
Tyler has been inspired to find a profitable way to help adopting families raise money for their adoption campaigns after his family went through the arduous process of adoption. After connecting with the adoption advocates in and around Nashville and meeting several families currently in the process of adopting kids internationally, he was moved with urgency to execute his idea. Tyler believes that his entrepreneurship classes at Belmont University played an important role in building his confidence to pursue a new venture and his ability to judge whether his idea was a good or not.
Tyler researched his social entrepreneurship idea and decided how to best implement it. He chose a crowdfunding platform and helps adoptive families to produce a professonal video in which they explain their heartfelt feelings that led to their decision to adopt. The knowledge that he can both help families grow and help orphans find permanent, loving homes is enough to keep him going each day, regardless of the outcome.
Congratulations to Sigma Nu Tau’s 3rd Annual National Student Entrepreneur-of-the-Year Award Program Winners
Picd.us, Inc. starts with product placement via social media photography and is on its way to a full 360˚ brand recognition, integration, and ticketing service. Using the proprietary Picd.us SaaS platform, Picd.us can perform any type of recognition whether it be a logo, brand, industry, product, or facial recognition.
Picd.us, Inc. now employs six individuals and has fully raised a successful seed investment round in the six-figure range. Currently, they are working with the NFL, NASCAR, and the majority of the world’s leading music festivals to build out brand recognition and ticketing solutions meant to enhance fan experiences and maximize sponsorship impact. Picd.us has secured a commitment on their Series A funding round for $2 million that they will be looking to execute on within the next few months.
Emily Gandolfo- SUNY Plattsburgh
1st Runner Up- Overall Competition
Emily’s Marvelous Masks
Emily’s Marvelous Masks is a children’s entertainment company founded in 2009. The company focuses on maintaining a family fun and unique style of face painting. They also provide other services such as air brushing and princess parties. The paint products they use are the same found at Disney World or any other high end amusement park. Located in Manorville, NY, Emily’s Marvelous Masks pride itself on keeping a strong and happy clientele basis. Emily’s Marvelous Masks has participated in police department family day events, breast cancer walks, and several events in Long Island.