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Whitman's Ag 4 Africa one of three finalists in Dell Social Innovation Competition

April 16, 2010

Amy Schmitz
(315) 443-3834

A few months ago, a trio made up of two Whitman School of Management students and one alumna threw the name of their business venture into the hat for consideration in the Dell Social Innovation Competition. It was perhaps a long shot—more than 700 other business ideas from colleges and universities around the world had also entered the competition, which seeks projects that improve areas of critical human need through innovation.

ag4africaBut Holly Tassi ’10 BS, Ryan Seeram ’10 BS, and Tamara Cohen ’09 BS were determined to gain attention—and hopefully some funding—to make their venture, Ag 4 Africa, a reality. Their determination has paid off. In April, Ag 4 Africa was selected as one of 60 teams to move into the semi-finals of the competition.

And now, with only 18 days left for voting, Ag 4 Africa is one of only three teams in the finals of the Dell Social Innovation Competition—with $50,000 in prize money on the line.

Ag 4 Africa team members will travel to Austin, Tex., on May 5 to present their business plan in front of a panel of judges comprised of leaders from the business, nonprofit and government sectors. All three of the finalists will receive prizes; the overall winner receives $50,000 to launch their venture.

Ag 4 Africa is a rural development model for Sub-Saharan Africa, focused on promoting sustainable agriculture and self-sufficiency. The AG 4 Africa concept is being developed in collaboration with the Whitman Schools’ Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises.

To vote for Ag 4 Africa, visit http://dellsocialinnovationcompetition.com (registration required). For more information on Ag 4 Africa, contact Neil Tarallo, assistant professor of entrepreneurship in the Whitman School, at (315) 443-3646 or ntarallo@syr.edu, or Holly Tassi at (440) 488-0443 or hatassi@syr.edu, or visit the Ag 4 Africa Facebook page.

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