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Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellows will stay and start it up in Syracuse

April 18, 2012

Stacey Keefe
(315) 443-7086

Sixteen Syracuse University seniors and alumni have been selected as 2012 Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellows (KEEF), a yearlong program fueled by Enitiative that provides tuition for courses at SU, professional and faculty mentors, and space in the Syracuse Student Sandbox at The Tech Garden and/or the Couri Hatchery.

“These students are among the best and brightest of the Syracuse University graduates for 2012 and, instead of taking a job in Boston or Silicon Valley, they chose to stay in Syracuse to start their company,” says Bruce Kingma, SU associate provost for entrepreneurship and innovation. “To revitalize the Central New York economy we need new ideas, new actions and new strategies. The Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellows program is keeping young, educated, creative and talented graduates in Central New York to make a difference.”

The 2012 Engagement Fellows come from five different states and 15 different undergraduate majors, including interior design, psychology, film, mechanical engineering and information management.

KEEF entrepreneurial endeavors this year include creating a workspace for freelancers and entrepreneurs, an incubator for product lines designed by SU students, a pop-up shop for art students to promote and sell their work, a free social browsing app, a portable and self-sustained rainwater harvesting system and a jewelry company that sells handcrafted rings as symbols of female empowerment.

“The Engagement Fellowship gave me the opportunity to grow my business and my experience,” says RJ Sherman, 2009 Engagement Fellow. “The program enabled me to continue to work in the area and leverage the surrounding resources.”

Selection of the 16 fellows was based on their academic record, their history in experiential learning an in-depth interview, a faculty or professional recommendation, assurance that they were on track to graduate and a pitch of their entrepreneurial venture.

2012 Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellows

Alexander Abdalian ’12, B.A. in psychology and photography and founder of Sharpen: A Collaborative Office Space for Independent Minds, an open-environment membership-based workspace for freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Joshua Anderson ’11, B.S. in marketing management and entrepreneurship & emerging enterprises and founder of Uvalue, a social e-commerce marketplace that allows students to share items they no longer need with other students on campus (2012 RvD IDEA Award winner, $2,000).

Lindsey Briggs ’09, G'10, B.S. in information management & technology, and M.S. in broadcast journalism, and founder of SocialU 101, a platform for facilitating and engaging older individuals with social media, helping them build their online presence and increase their comfort with social media tools.

Gianna Foltz '12 and Emelia Natalicchio '12, both B.F.A. graduates in fashion design, minor in entrepreneurship & emerging enterprises, and co-founders of The Palette, an e-commerce site and mobile pop-up shop where SU students can promote and sell their art work (2012 RvD IDEA Award winner, $2,000).

Joseph Gennaro '12 and Jerrell Perry '12, both B.S. graduates in information management & technology and co-founders of Tagglynx, a free social browsing app that allows users to participate in a discussion board to share web content discovery with their friend networks.

Christopher Grant12, B.S. in finance and real estate and founder of Waterport, which will create a portable and self-sustained rainwater harvesting system to turn rain into potable water in impoverished villages (2012 RvD Green IDEA Award winner, $10,000).

Kerry Maguire ’12, B.A. in communication and rhetorical studies, minor in information technology, design and startups and co-founder of VenueSpy, a web-based promotional company that offers a live peek at local bars and performance venues.

Katie Malatesta '12 and Michele Palotta '12, both B.A. graduates in interior design, and co-founders of Flat Shoes Tattoos, a dynamic design team with a focus on local projects. Flat Shoes Tattoos won Best Display ($500 cash prize) at Emerging Talk 2012.

Caitlin Moriarty ’12, B.M. in music industry, minor in marketing and founder of Moriartsy, an arts entrepreneurship and sustainability agency employing research, consultation and events for the creative industries (2012 RvD IDEA Award winner, $5,000).

Danish Nadeem ’12, B.S. in information management & technology, minor in global enterprise technology and founder of two ventures. HyperJobz is a service marketplace in which students post services they are willing to do in their community for a negotiable price and businesses post jobs they need students to fill. Coursespree is a student-to-student online marketplace for tutors, homework assistance and class notes or study guides.

Evin Robinson ’12, B.A. in communications & rhetorical studies and economics and founder of InspriRing, a jewelry company that sells handcrafted rings as symbols of female empowerment.

James Shomar ’12, B.S. in mechanical engineering and founder of the Performance Driving School, which aims to teach proper driving rules, skills and techniques combined with car performance basics

Michael Smith ’12, B.S. in advertising and entrepreneurship & emerging enterprises and founder of Pulse, a feedback aggregator that lets a company analyze what the most pressing issues are in the minds of their customers.

The Engagement Fellows program was launched in 2009 by Imagining America, a national consortium of more than 80 colleges and universities whose mission is to strengthen the public role and democratic purposes of the humanities, arts and design, and Enitiative, which supports entrepreneurship and innovation in Syracuse.

The Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellows program is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship.

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