Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mezmeriz wins $100K; Uses money to buy drinks for Ithaca Entrepreneurs

To celebrate Mezmeriz winning thee New York's Creative Core $100,000 Emerging Business Competition, we decided to throw a party for all of our entrepreneurially minded friends in Ithaca.

Ithaca Entrepreneurs and Executives

We held the event at Pixel. In attendance were founders and executives from GeneWeave, Advion, Veratag, Novomer, Mitegen, The Service Auction, Fibershield, Tetragenetics, Student Agencies, Predict Systems, and 2007 winner e2e Materials.

2007 and 2008 Winners Toast an Ithaca Sweep

A lot of the buzz at the event was about the amazing entrepreneurial spirit coming out of Ithaca. It's no mistake that the first two winners of this competition came out of Ithaca, and we have high hopes and expectations that next year's winner will as well.

A special thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. I owe you all a lot more than a few beers, but I hope that was a good start.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Big Red Brat Pack

The past three days have been a blur of events and ideas. The 2008 Entrepreneurship Symposium was incredible. The scheduled events were phenomenal, but the unscheduled parts were even better. The highlight of the event was dusk on the deck.

This, right here, right now, is why

Tom, Sean, Fox, Justin and I were taking a breather from the networking to put our bags in my truck parked on the top of the parking deck. We took the moment to chill, reflect, and let our guards down.

We love this stuff. We loved watching the undergraduate business idea competition. They were phenomenal! I hated to pick a winner because I want to fund the whole bunch. But we needed a breather and an escape.

Foxy pontificating at dusk. Good stuff.

That's part of the experience. It's the driver. My boy Andy has always said it's the concepts that matter. The entrepreneurship lifestyle is one of ideas. We're not philosophers, but we deal in the realm of the concept. The "what should be". It is during these top deck sessions when those ideas flow. With a beautiful Ithaca dusk settling upon us, the choice is solidified and new theories are formed.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Go Green Right

Spring is the time of building anew. So what better time is there for Cornellian Dave Wax to launch his new company, FreeGreen!?

Sooo Sleepy, Sooo Green

FreeGreen offers high-quality architectural plans for environmentally friendly housing - for free! How do they make money you ask? By promoting the best green building materials companies out there. It turns out that you can have a beautiful, earth-friendly house without sacrificing quality or paying a lot of money. All you need to do is plan. That's where FreeGreen comes in. They do the planning for you! All they ask is that you use the certified product vendors they recommend when building your dream home. It's one of those rare instances where the phrase "win-win" is not only true, but one of the winners is Mother Earth!

I love what Dave is doing and I love his spirit. He is a big thinker with a realistic bend. Right now, you can get any type of home as long as it is a suburban middle class home. They are starting small and growing. If you like his spirit as much as I do, but don't see you dream home, contact Dave directly. They want to help you g0 green!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Business Idols

For the past two evenings, Matt Wagner and I have been coaching the ten finalists for the Cornell Undergraduate Business Idea Competition.

The Fastest 3 Minutes in Business!

The finalists only have 3 minutes to pitch their idea to an auditorium full of people. They will be judged both a panel of expert judges, and by the audience - American Idol style.

You would be amazed at how hard it is to do a great pitch in just 3 minutes. But this crew has done a bang-up job. The actual event takes place on April 11th, 2008 at 4:00pm in 196 Beck Center, at Statler Hall. It is free to attend, and you should get there early as we expect an over-capacity crowd.

To get a preview of the companies, and to vote on who you think has the best idea (before the presentations), please see this article in Cornell Business Magazine.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

$100K NY Style

Ithaca startups Mezmeriz and Geneweave Biosciences were thrilled to be recognized today as two of the top five emerging businesses from Central New York. We were included as finalists for the Metropolitan Development Association of Central New York's $100,000 Emerging Business Competition.

A Yummy Delicious Core

The finalists:

  • Alpha DC Motors of Syracuse has invented a new manufacturing process where they swap out traditional metals for engineered metals, resulting in direct current motors that are significantly better than anything on the market.
  • Aviation Services Unlimited of Oriskany is creatively using helicopters for things way beyond just travel. They are completely re-thinking aviation.
  • GeneWeave Biosciences of Ithaca has a breakthrough technology for detecting harmful bacteria that is significantly faster, cheaper, and more precise that current methods.
  • Make & Take Gourmet of Syracuse has 18 stores throughout the east coast where people can quickly and cheaply make gourmet meals for their whole family that previously they could only get at overpriced restaurants.
  • Mezmeriz of Ithaca. That's us! We're making the tiny little projector display thing you have read about here before.

Diego of Geneweave and I carpooled to Syracuse for the event. We weren't sure what to expect. The location in the classic downtown M&T bank lobby and all of the television cameras were a bit daunting, but we had a great time nonetheless. I don't know if we made the TV news, but we did make the WSYR-TV website!

Beforehand we got to meet the other entrepreneurs and found they were more brothers in arms than competitors. It sucks that there is only one winner. With businesses so disparate, how in the world do you compare? If we had a DC motor-helicopter- biotesting-projection-gourmet restaurant, we'd be all set!