UCF student Joe Sleppy at Techstars in NYC

Congratulations to UCF’s own Joe Sleppy and David Nash who participated in the Blackstone LaunchPad Techstars Training Camp in New York last month.

Sleppy, one of seven finalists (shown presenting at right), was selected for his ongoing commitment to UCF’s startup community and received recognition at the Training Camp for his business, Capacitech Energy, a startup focused on commercializing a versatile capacitor for the electronics industry. Sleppy was the winner of the spring Joust in 2016.

Nash, who also has been a Joust finalist, was chosen to participate for his business, Idem Systems, a program to provide law enforcement a field drug testing system that is both cost-effective and more reliable. Through sponsorship from Blackstone LaunchPad, a figure at UCF since 2013,the UCF Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership funded the students’ participation in the event.

The Training Camp was hosted by two leaders in the startup space, Blackstone Launchpad and Techstars, in support of top college entrepreneurs from around the world and ended with a Demo Day to provide seven student finalists an opportunity to pitch their companies and products for prize money and continued mentorship to develop their businesses.

The first-place award of $15,000 went to Josh Aviv, a recent graduate of Syracuse University, whose company, SparkCharge, provides portable charging stations for electric vehicles. Second place went to Fiona Edwards Murphy of Apis Project, a software solution that uses in-hive IoT enabled sensors in tandem with machine learning and big data to monitor beehives. Murphy attends University Cork in Ireland. The third-place winners were brothers, Artyom Zorin and Kyrell Zorin of Zorin OS, a Linux-based computer operating system. They are both students at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

Blackstone Charitable Foundation is a campus-based program, accessible by more than 500,000 students globally on 20 campuses. The foundation works to make entrepreneurship a more viable career path for college students by directing the firm’s resources and expertise to colleges throughout the world to catalyze the growth of successful businesses, industries, and communities. Using the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, founders connect with other entrepreneurs, mentors, alumni, community leaders, investors, experts, and corporations to grow their companies.