Seidenberg Students Finalists at the Fourteenth Annual Pace Pitch Contest

The fourteenth annual Pace Pitch Contest is underway and we are proud to announce that the finalist teams are packed with talented Seidenberg students! Run by the Entrepreneurship Lab at Lubin School of Business, the Pace Pitch Contest challenges teams of students not just from Pace but from other universities around the tri-state area (including Columbia, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Princeton and Stanford) to not just come up with a cool new business idea but to pitch it successfully to a panel of judges. This competition is not for the faint of heart!

The Pitch Contest is based on the Elevator Pitch concept, popular in the venture capital community. It is an extremely concise presentation of an entrepreneur’s idea, business model, marketing strategy, competitive analysis, and financial plan, which is delivered to potential investors. The premise is that it could be made in a few minutes, should the entrepreneur spot a potential investor on an elevator and have the opportunity to pitch their idea during the brief ride.

The final round will be held TONIGHT, Thursday, April 19, 2018, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm in the Bianco Room, One Pace Plaza of Pace University.

Last year, Seidenberg superstars Rachel Gonzalez (MS in Information Systems), Andrew Ku (BS in Computer Science), and Rohana Sosa (BS in Computer Science with minor in Computing Information Technology) took the top spots by pitching their ideas for meditation and artificial intelligence-infused security. Read more about it in the 13th Pace Pitch Contest blog post!

There are a lot of areas teams will be evaluated on during their pitches.

New Business Concepts will be evaluated on the following judging criteria

Business Description: Details of the venture and what it does.

  1. Market Analysis: Characteristics of the market and description of its customers.
  2. Product or Service Analysis: The specifics of the product or service.
  3. Competition: Identify current and potential competitors.
  4. Marketing Strategy: How sales will be achieved.
  5. Operations: How the product or service will be produced and delivered.
  6. Management: An assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team.
  7. Finances: An overview of the required resources and economics of the venture.
  8. Investment Proposal: The terms and conditions offered to investors.
  9. Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.

Social Ventures will be evaluated on the following judging criteria.

  1. Assessing the Need: An analysis of the social issue and its affected population.
  2. Well-defined Target: Characteristics of the market and targeted population.
  3. Management: An assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team.
  4. Creativity: A demonstration that the proposed solution displays a unique approach.
  5. Feasibility: A demonstration that the venture can be successfully implemented.
  6. Planning: A clear and well-defined strategy to achieve objectives and goals.
  7. Operations: How the product or service will be physically produced and distributed.
  8. Sustainability: Long-term prospects for viability and success.
  9. Social Impact: The value that the new venture will bring to society.
  10. Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.

Participants must work on both New Business Concepts as well as Social Ventures to make their venture a success in the final round.

Professor Bruce Bachenheimer, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab, oversees the contest.

The judging panel includes:

  • Danny Potocki, Founder, FINIS Ventures
  • Christine Roth, Economic Development Advisor
  • Jonathan M. Satovsky, Founder & CEO, Satovsky Asset Management, LLC.
  • Sandy Wollman, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Westchester Angels

In total, we have 9 Finalist teams for the contest with around 2 – 3 participants in each team.

Here are the Innovative Ideas our students have come up with:

  1. AngelEats
  • They have come up an idea to combat food waste from restaurants and share the food to nonprofit organizations like orphanages and homeless shelters. Their focus is building a bridge between restaurants and nonprofit organization and giving the food to the people in need.
  • Team members from Pace – Quincy Doccy (BS in Computer Science), Weichao Hou (MS in Finance) and Avinash Mudduluru (MS in Computer Science)
  1. Arogyaa
  • Sanskrit origin meaning – Overall well-being, the health of mind, body, and spirit). It’s been observed that around 251,454 people die due to lack of information about background history and wrong treatment annually. So the application maintains the patients’ medical history, and which coordinates with different doctors and helps them to collaborate to cure patients.
  1. Cuddlefish
  • Cuddlefish is a blockchain based platform which aims to promote financial inclusion for all through microfinance funded by retail investors in developed countries.
  • Team members from Pace – Sumeet (MBA in Product Management) and Jethro (BBA in Financial Research)
  1. iCards
  • Capturing and keeping tangible mementos of your favorite interests has been around for years, from sports cards to niche entertainment references, trading cards have been collected and enjoyed by young and old individuals for years. The team developed iCards that seeks to revolutionize the game, fully integrating the best parts of the industry into a comprehensive, universal platform to trade, play, and collect cards.
  • Team members from Pace – Jen McCall (BS in Computer Science) and John Mulcahy (BS in Computer Science)
  1. Redact
  • Redact is a legal organization that works with individuals who have been convicted of a crime to have their criminal records sealed. Redact’s mission is to unshackle those New Yorkers from the stigma and disabilities that come after a criminal conviction will give a segment of society the chance to get back on their feet.
  • Team member from Pace – Christopher Matcovich (3L, Pace Law School)
  1. RockBox
  • RockBox delivers handmade cocktails from all over the world to the customers’ doorstep. With monthly subscriptions, customers will be provided with the alcohol, bitters, mixers and fresh produce needed to create their own boozy beverage. RockBox plans to target professional millennials who enjoy drinking alcohol and take pride in crafting their own cocktails from the comfort of their home.
  • Team member from Pace – Zakiya Sims (BS in Computer Science)
  1. Sylvian Hyde
  • Sylvian Hyde is an emerging luxury menswear brand founded and based in New York City. The company currently offers ready-to-wear men’s apparel as well as custom and bespoke design services. In the future, the brand plans to gradually expand the product offering to menswear accessories such as belts, bags, shoes, and later a women’s line. The Sylvian Hyde® brand aims to provide men with more options with modern, sophisticated aesthetics and functionality
  • Team member from Pace – Jabari Chambers ‘18 (MBA in Human Resources and Financial Management)
  1. WOTOPA
  • WOTOPA is a platform where campus students can buy, sell, donate, offer services and can build inter university network by exchanging ideas and collaborating via forums. WOTOPA aims to be one stop solution for buying, selling, promoting and collaborating under one roof with safe, secure and easy to use environment for Students.
  • Team members from Pace – Haseeb (MS in Computer Science), Suman (MS in Computer Science) and Varad (MS in Computer Science)
  1. @Pace (Augmented Tour of Pace University)
  • It is a Business-to-Customer (B2C) software startup focusing on augmented reality (AR). The software program allows users to explore Pace University via mobile application, without having to attend a scheduled tour, meaning that – it allows the user to interact and explore the facilities of Pace University, without having to be physically present.
  • Team members at Pace – Kenneth Okereke (MS in Computer Science) and Stephanie Okereke (BS in Computer Science)

Up for grabs is a 1st Prize of $1000 Cash, 2nd Prize of $500 Cash and the 3rd Prize of $250 Cash.

The Seidenberg School of CSIS wishes all participants the best of luck in the contest!

Seidenberg conducts a Rat Relay for New York City Design Factory

Woohoo! This semester’s Rat Relay was an enormous success! Students from Pace and other universities around the world participated in this exciting hackathon from March 20-23 across four days of innovation and design.

Rat Relay is a four day global design hackathon that is run by the Design Factory Global Network, of which our very own NYC Design Factory (NYCDF) is part. During the event, students from different parts of the world worked on real problems for NGOs, non-profits, or businesses located just about anywhere around the world. Nine Design Factories participated in the challenge, which are: NYCDF, Frisian Design Factory, Melbourne Design Factory, Aalto Design Factory, Porto Design Factory, Cali Design Factory, Bogota Design Factory, Warsaw Design Factory and Ghent Design Factory. Students worked together to define the problem a business may have, and came up with solutions through ideation, prototyping, and testing, before finally presenting their materials.

Rat Relay was held in the Seidenberg Lounge at 163 William Street (with students from other universities around the world participating digitally over Skype!). It was a 36 hour event, which was divided into separate slots of 6 hours each. It worked just like a relay – just as one member passes the baton to the next, participants worked on one aspect of the innovation for 6 hours and when time was up for one slot they handed off their project to another team from another part of the world. The new team then picked up the project where the previous team left off.

Here’s what happened in each part:

Slot 1: Tuesday, March 20th, 3pm-9pm

It started with New York Design Factory. The innovation theme they worked on was EMPATHISE (Getting to know the user). The challenge: how to help students with autism learn how to self-advocate. The sponsors – Tech Kids Unlimited – had come and they spoke to the participants about autism in this slot.

Slot 2: Wednesday, March 21st, 8am-2pm

The project was handed off to Aalto Design Factory in slot 2. The aspect of innovation they worked on was REFRAME (Redefining the problem). The challenge they worked on: how to keep people involved in an environmental campaign.

Slot 3: Wednesday, March 21st, 3pm-9pm

Frisian Design Factory worked in slot 3. The theme was IDEATION (Coming up with possible solutions). The challenge they worked on: what to do with the waste from natural disasters.

Slot 4: Thursday, March 22nd, 8am-2pm

The project went to Melbourne Design Factory for slot 4. The aspect of innovation they worked on was PROTOTYPE (Making designs for solutions). The challenge they worked on: home use for graphene floors.

Slot 5: Thursday, March 22nd, 3pm-9pm

Cali Design Factory continued with project in slot 5. The aspect of innovation they worked on was TESTING (Testing the Prototype). The challenge – how to stop kids from joining guerrilla gangs.

Slot 6: Friday, March 23rd, 8am-2pm

New York Design Factory took the project in the last slot. The aspect of innovation they worked on was PITCHING (Presenting all the created stuff). They presented the challenge: how to help students with autism learn how to self-advocate

By the end of the, the distributed team had come up with a solution: a mobile application named “SPEAK UP STREET”. This app teaches the students with autism how to speak up for themselves in real world situations. The app is designed as a game where users choose between a selection of responses to different types of situations. The app challenges users to play in in-game locations such as at home, at a friend’s house, school, and many other social places. When travelling to these locations, users will encounter various situations where they have to respond to a stimulus. Choosing the right option will explain to them why it is right and it will move them forward in the game. If they choose the wrong answer it will explain why it is wrong and ask them to choose something else or come back to it.

It was wonderful to have such an energetic and enthusiastic event when students had just returned from their Spring Break! Hosted by Dr. Jaclyn Kopel, Director of the Pforzheimer Honors College and Interim Director of the NYCDF, each slot of this Rat Relay was packed with excitement. Participants really enjoyed working with people around the world, and there were 50 unique participants in total. From Pace, both undergraduate and graduate students came from the Seidenberg School of CSIS, the Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Science, the School of Education, and the Honors College.

Getting real world experience working for international companies, working with innovation, improving one’s problem solving skills, and working in international, interdisciplinary teams is a hugely beneficial experience for students. Participants received a certificate saying they worked with 9 international companies and 8 countries. Freshmen and sophomores students had the advantage of getting on the NYCDF radar for the expanded versions that involved travel to other countries (Finland, Portugal, Poland, and Austria).

As always, the Rat Relay was an exceptional event and we can’t wait for the next one in the fall!

Seidenberg students snatch first and second spot at Pace Pitch Contest

Another year, another incredible performance at the annual Pace Pitch Contest from Seidenberg students. We couldn’t be more proud of Rachel González, Andrew Ku, and Rohana Sosa for taking the top two spots in the contest.

The competition, now in its thirteenth year, challenges students to pitch their ideas with constraints based on the famous Elevator Pitch, the technique of giving a concise and compelling pitch in a very short period of time.

Finalists in the competition had three minutes to give their pitches, which they did on Thursday, April 20, 2017, in the Bianco Room at Pace University. During their presentations, they were judged on their ability to provide: a description of their idea; a market analysis; the specs of their product or service; identification of potential competitors; a marketing strategy; how they aim to produce and deliver their product or service; an assessment of their management; a finances overview; and an investment proposal.

Plenty of Seidenberg students and teams made it to the final round – here are the teams including some of our amazing entrepreneurs!

George Samuels and Arton Mirakaj presenting Atmosphere.

Arton Mirakaj (BA in Computer Science) and George Samuels (BS in Computer Science) presented Atmosphere, a VR mobile application that will be used to improve the health and care of aging populations – the same app that went on to win at the #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl!

First place winners Rachel Gonzáles and Danielle Ran pitching Minute Mantra.

Minute Mantra is a health and wellness app that enables mindfulness and clarity, and was developed by Rachel González (BS in Information Systems) alongside Danielle Ran (BBA in Marketing with minor in Psychology).

Thanh Do, Phuc Pham, and Syman Li present charity app TouchDonation.

TouchDonation makes giving to charity simple and was created by Phuc Pham (BS in Information Technology with a minor in Quantitative Business Analysis), Syman Li (BBA in Hospitality) and Thanh Do (BBA in Finance).

Second place winners Andrew Ku and Rohana Sosa with their idea VAICAM Pi.

Seidenberg students Andrew Ku (BS in Information Systems) and Rohana Sosa (BS in Computer Science with minor in Computing Information Technology) created VAICAM Pi. VAICAM Pi is bundled as an Android mobile app, a Google Cardboard virtual reality (VR) headset, and a Raspberry Pi 3, equipped with a 360 camera and artificial intelligence to function as an older person’s own artificially intelligent security camera.

Ricky Harris, Mackenzie Dolishny, and Daniel Citardi pitching VR Discover, an app aimed to improve the lives of aging populations.

Finally, VR Discover – an app built for both Android and iOS, utilizes virtual reality to stimulate cognitive function, provide entertainment, and relieve restlessness stemming from sundowning for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia – was built by computer science students Ricky Harris, Daniel Citardi, and Mackenzie Dolishny. This innovative app also made an appearance at the #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development bowl, where the team won a prize.

When it was time for the judges to make their decisions, students from Seidenberg snatched up first and second place!

Rachel González and Lubin student Danielle Ran took first place, bagging $1,000 to use toward developing their mindfulness app, Minute Mantra.

Andrew Ku and Rohana Sosa won the second prize of $500 for their artificial intelligence security app, VAICAM Pi.

Rohana and Andrew receive their award with the contest judges

Speaking about her experience, Rohana Sosa remarked that she and Andrew “both had a great experience and a lot of fun being participants in the Pitch Contest. This gave us the opportunity to showcase our talents and apply our programming skills to a business setting. Having this experience is a stepping stone to further our learning process and achieve our educational goals. The contest provided an enriching and stimulating experience to test our ideas and see how impactful the our mobile app concept is.”

There were certainly a wealth of impactful apps and ideas presented at the contest. You can see all of the finalists at the Entrepreneurship Lab website.

Third annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl aims to improve lives of aging populations

Once again, the #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl enabled hundreds of talented young high school and college students showcase their STEM skills in a competition to build apps to improve the lives of older people.

In partnership with Westchester County, this year’s iteration of the competition was its biggest yet, with over 440 students from 18 high schools and three universities taking part.

The mobile app bowl takes place over three monthly sessions, the first two consisting of intense training where students learn how to build mobile applications catered to aging populations. On the third day, which took place on Friday, April 28, at Pace University’s Pleasantville Campus, teams presented their apps and the winners were decided.

County Executive Robert P. Astorino presented the awards to the winners in a variety of categories, including awards for creativity, usability, and functionality. Winners of the YouTube Social Challenge earned trips to Google and YouTube studios in New York City, and prizes were also given for high school coach of the year and college coach of the year – the latter being won by our very own Jean Coppola.

On top of the category awards, the #WestchesterSmart award, a grand prize of $1,000 cash and swag from Panasonic was up for grabs.

“The #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl sends a strong statement to our students, as well as our communities and businesses, that Westchester is a place where smart things are happening,” said County Executive Rob Astorino.

The grand prize was snatched up by KanjiStick, the team from the New School’s Parsons School of Design, who created an app aimed to assist older people overcome issues typically experienced when interacting with technology. The team focused on creating an app that assisted with hearing, vision, and dexterity problems, allowing users to enjoy a smoother experience.

Teams from Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems also took prizes in the event:

Dean Jonathan Hill with Daniel Citardi and Ricky Harris (Run DMR), and Rob Astorino

Teams Run DMR and Programmers Box took second and third prize in the Mobile App Creativity category respectively.

Team QWERTY accepts their prize for mobile app usability

Team QWERTY won second place in the Mobile App Usability category.

Programmers Box won third place for mobile app functionality

In the Mobile App Functionality category, teams Bice and Programmers Box achieved second and third place respectively.

Downtown Developers won functionality and YouTube Social Challenge awards

Tours of Google and YouTube were won by Downtown Developers, and Vida is Real.

Rob Astorino with team Vida is Real, Arton Mirakaj and George Samuels, and Dean Jonathan Hill

“Once again, we are blown away by the talent of the students who participate in the Westchester Smart Mobile App Development Bowl,” said Jonathan Hill, dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace. “Their work will improve the quality of life for older citizens throughout the area, helping them do everyday tasks and manage their lives better. This event grows every year and we hope to see even more student app developers next year.”

The full list of winners can be found at our #WestchesterSmart Mobile App site.

We would like to extend many thanks to our 2017 Partners and Sponsors, including Robert P. Astorino, Westchester County Executive; Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University; The Westchester County Office of Economic Development; Saberpoint; conEdison; Acordia Therapeutics; XL Catlin; The Bristal: Assisted Living; New York-Presbyterian; Virginia LeTourneau; Ursuline Foley; Liberty Lines Transit, Inc.; Sal’s Pizza and Pasta; and Nancy Goodman.

Read about last year’s mobile app development bowl.

Computer Science students showcase mobile apps

On Tuesday, September 20th 2016, Pace graduate Computer Science students showcased their projects from the computer science classes they had been taking. Dr. Christelle Scharff, the Chair of Computer Science in New York, curated the projects from different courses. The presentations were attended by fellow students in the Seidenberg and the Pace community, and were a way for students to share what they had learned and accomplished, and encourage other students to build fantastic projects when they take the classes for themselves.

Undertaking projects in classes useful for getting the hands-on experience of building something, but it’s also great for job interviews. “It is important for students to use courses they take to build innovative projects; they can use these projects for their portfolios,” Dr. Scharff said.

The showcase was an excellent demonstration of some of the projects students realized in their classes. Here’s some of what our students shared:

  1. william-dickersonCity Access

William Dickerson, who had taken CS 641 Mobile Web Content and Development with Professor Haik Sahakian, used Ionic and D3 to develop an app that helped people become better informed of how accessible New York City is from the user’s location.

“I want people to have a, ‘this is where I am, how accessible is my city?’ feel” William explained. “For example, like Google Maps, City Access will guide you to the nearest subway stations; however, it will also include nearby restaurants, parks or anything in your area you live in that you should know about.”

  1. multiplayer-maze-2Multiplayer Maze Game

In the SE 765 Distributed Software Development class taught by Dr. Tamer Avcilar, Ersin Akkaya used Java and socket technology to develop a multiplayer maze game. The program has several available mazes. The mazes contain coins that users need to connect without intersecting. Students could even play the game during the presentation.

  1. tony-chenStooper

Tony Chen and teammates Greg Goldberg and Jones Rawles, built an app that allows New Yorkers to get free things! Stooper shows listings and locations of places nearby that are giving away items that you can take without spending a penny.

The team split the tasks to ensure the app will be developed during the 3-week project. Tony created the login, contact, register and listing screens. Greg worked on the the splash screen, navigation drawer and the Google Maps integration. Jones Rawles was in charge of creating the donation page, where users can donate money to a charity. This app was the result of taking CS 639 Mobile Application Development with Dr. Scharff.

  1. bizlist-2BizList

In Professor Chernak’s capstone course, CS 691 Computer Science Project I, teammates Harshada Gothankar, Akash Khedekar, Akanksha Gupta, Alex Lieberman, Ayesha Imran and Bijen Khakkhar developed a web app that serves as a commercial real estate portal. “It’s a very unique project in that it relates to finding commercial spaces,” says the team.

Users pick a location they are interested in finding commercial real estate space in and, depending upon the type of business, the app will come up with potential locations within budget and provide with information about the type of environment the space is located in (e.g., parking space).

These capstone courses (Computer Science Project I & II) present students with opportunities to work on projects they are passionate about. It’s a great chance to come up with innovative ideas such as this one!

The CS graduate showcase is a recurring event, taking place at the beginning of each semester. If you are interested in learning more, talk to a professor about it or get in touch with Dr. Scharff.

Mobile app and web development is a big deal at the Seidenberg School, so it was fantastic to see so many students presenting their work in that area! Follow the Pace Mobile Lab on Facebook to learn more about what we get up to in tech.

Congratulations to all of the students for their creative work!

Daniel Botero brings fresh Moffee coffee to Pace

daniel-boteroWhat do we want? Fresh coffee! When do we want it? Now! How do we get it? By ordering it through Moffee, an awesome new startup created by our very own Daniel Botero (MS-CS ’17).

Dan has used his entrepreneurial vision and applied it to a thriving industry: bringing coffee to the masses just when they need it the most. Moffee is a coffee delivery service that accepts orders through its self-titled app and brings your order to your location on or around the Pace downtown campus.

“I didn’t just love [coffee] because of the caffeine. I loved drinking it and became used to it,” says Dan. Daniel came up with the idea for Moffee when he took a notice of major coffee houses and observed how people would wait in long lines just to get a cup of coffee.

When ordering your coffee, you have complete control over what you want. Pick the type of drink (espresso, latte, hot chocolate, tea, etc), the milk, and the sweetener, and Moffee will make it to order. Dan is running the service on weekdays between 9am-6pm, which is perfect for getting that much-needed caffeine fix before class or during study sessions in the library. Moffee is also inexpensive by usual standards – most drinks will run you between $3 and $5.

moffee-coffees

After ordering, you will receive details such as the name of the person bringing your coffee, their number, and you can even track them by GPS. Payment is complete when the delivery person scans your order QR on your phone, so you don’t pay until your coffee is in your hands. Worried it’ll get cold? It won’t – Dan uses specially constructed lids from Taiwan that ensure the drink stays nice and hot.

His experience in starting Moffee has taught Dan a lot about how to run a business, including many dos and don’ts. Some ideas and strategies went well, while others fell flat and needed to be disregarded altogether. “I was always asking myself what else I could do and what my next idea was,” says Daniel.

In the future, Daniel wants to have a space where the employees can relax and do homework while waiting for orders to come in. Jobs with Moffee are offered to Pace students only, and the coffee shop would be on campus. Interested in applying? Contact Daniel through the Moffee website.

If you would like to learn about Moffee and discover awesome promos, visit them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Have you tried Moffee Coffee yet? Comment below and let us know what you think!