The SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator hatched three new entrepreneurs Thursday.
The Incubator recently started an entrepreneurship contest to help with the goal to build a bridge between the Incubator and the campus.
President Dennis Hefner said that in the beginning they had hoped for 10 entries, but received 47.
SUNY students show entrepreneurship
Those 47 entries were narrowed down to eight finalists who were judged and eventually three winners were chosen.
Students were asked to answer a question, fulfill a need or promote a service.
"We wanted students to know what it takes to start up a successful business," Hefner said.
Winners Ashley Walker, Andrew Haynes and Sean Lewis all fulfilled the task in a way that was creative and innovative.
Third-place winner Ashley Walker sought to bring awareness to the Odyssey of the Mind Program.
Walker participated in the program at her high school in Salamanca and later became a judge for the program.
"A couple of months ago I judged the state competitions and when I tried to explain it to my friends they had no idea what it was. I started a blog on the program and that's when I heard about this opportunity to enter the contest," Walker said.
She said that she plans to attend the world's competition in College Park, Md., later in the summer and develop a website to promote the program.
Second-place winner Andrew Haynes created a plan to bring hotels into the 21st century with a digital conci-erge service he called Fetch.
"The service would connect users to hotels, other guests and other cultural attractions like restaurants," Haynes explained.
Haynes is an employee of a hotel/casino in the Buffalo area and came up with the idea through his experience there.
First-place winner Sean Lewis sought to help struggling musicians reach listeners with his idea he called Shomoh.
"It's American Idol meets Pandora meets Facebook," Lewis explained.
Lewis said that he was inspired by local artists who had "no real way to promote themselves." He said that he noticed that a huge determining factor to a musicians' success was a record deal, not talent or drive.
His idea created a way for listeners to determine the success of unsigned bands. He explained that on his website the listeners will decide the ratings and bands will move up the charts dependent on those ratings. The farther up the charts a band gets, the more exposure.
"All artists have to do is upload music," Lewis said.
All of the winners thanked the Incubator for the opportunity to get started on their idea.
"We don't just have three winners, we have many winners," Robert Fritzinger, SUNY Technology Incubator Director, said. "The five other finalists still want to move forward with their ideas."
Hefner promised that the competition would become an "annual tradition."
"It fits nicely with the Incubator's mission," Hefner said.
This contest was sponsored by Lakeshore Savings Bank, Lawley Traditional Insurance, CCIDA, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, Selling Hive and Textivia.
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