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Fredonia Technology Incubator’s Student Business Competition Winners Announced

FREDONIA, N.Y. (April 18, 2018) – The Fredonia Technology Incubator conducted the final pitches for its Third Annual Student Business Competition for students at the State University of New York at Fredonia last week.  After deliberation, a panel of independent judges announced the winners shortly after the presentations concluded.

The top prize went to John McIvor and his startup WEIRDNESS.  WEIRDNESS is an alternative comics and illustration venture, putting out small-run, collectible physical releases from commissioned artists.  Runners up included Makunema Productions, a multimedia company, with team leader Madison Breslin, and team members Noah Schoelermann, Evan Frew, Matthew Turner, and Kyle Licht.  Makunema creates original films and assists other artists’ projects.  The second runner up was Jiggy By Nature (JBN), with team members Lloyd Ansah, Andre Cowan, Mamadou Diallo, and Abdullah Yusuf.  JBN is a startup that sells different branded clothing to college students.  All of the participants are students at Fredonia.

“Again this year, our competition featured talented and creative entrepreneurs pitching their unique startups,” said Chuck Cornell, Incubator Director.  “I am encouraged by the quality of these proposals and look forward to working with these entrepreneurs as they develop as clients of our incubator.”

The judges of the competition included Buffalo area Fredonia Alumni and regional leaders including Nicholas Haas, Partner and Creative Director, [Re]noun Creative; Rob Hopkins, Founder and Designer, Stronghold Studio; Gina Kron, Owner of Tim Horton’s local franchises; Jennifer Koss, Co-founder, Designer, & Head of Operations, Rosie Furniture; Susan McNamara, Assistant Professor & Internship Coordinator, Fredonia; and Kevin Sylvester, Manager and Co-Owner, Sylvester & Peck Media LLC.

The top prize earned a $1,200 paid entrepreneurial internship and all clients services provided by FTI.  Runners up receive all services and access to shared space at the Incubator.

The Fredonia Technology Incubator promotes economic growth in Western New York by supporting entrepreneurship and the development of new, innovative companies into successful business ventures. The incubator provides administrative and business services, mentoring, networking, professional consulting, educational opportunities, and access to capital and work ready space.

The incubator is housed within Fredonia’s Division of Engagement and Economic Development (EED) established in 2013 to facilitate and support university-community collaborations that enhance the intellectual, cultural, artistic and economic vibrancy of the region. Such collaborations include active community engagement and partnerships with local and regional organizations, governments, businesses and universities.

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Frank Parlato

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