Impact Prize 2019 | Upstate Venture Connect

Impact Prize

November 14, 2019 @ 2:00 pm
Blackstone LaunchPad
222 Waverly Ave
Syracuse, NY 13210
Blackstone LaunchPad
Impact Prize @ Blackstone LaunchPad

Apply by November 1, 2019 –

The Impact Prize supports student entrepreneurs who are engaged in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems through innovation. It is coordinated by the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University, and supported through a generous gift from Dr. Gisela M. von Dran, along with another gift from a member of the Advisory Board of the Syracuse University Libraries.

Impact Prize is an open call for products, services or technologies that can become practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to societal problems anywhere around the globe. Proposals should cut across sectors and disciplines, be grounded in the principles of social entrepreneurship, and address human needs, whether as non-profit or for-profit entities.

An initial judging round, led by campus faculty and staff with expertise in civic engagement or social entrepreneurship, will select the final teams to pitch. Those teams will then pitch their impact ideas to a distinguished panel of nonprofit leaders and innovators on November 14, 2020. Prize winners will be announced at an award ceremony and reception immediately following the competition.

The Impact Prize is funded through a personal gift from Dr. Gisela M. von Dran, director emerita of the iSchool’s MSLIS program, who has a special interest in entrepreneurship, giving participants a chance to win $10,000. As a member of the iSchool faculty, she taught organization management courses at the graduate level as well as the iSchool’s first-year gateway course. Before joining the iSchool, Dr. von Dran served as an assistant professor of management at the Whitman School of Management.  She is the wife of Raymond von Dran, who was dean of the iSchool from 1995 until his death in 2007. Von Dran was a longtime academic entrepreneur who started many innovative programs in higher education and supported student innovation and entrepreneurship at Syracuse University. Shortly after his death in 2007, Gisela von Dran established the Raymond F. von Dran Fund, to support the RvD initiative, which funds the iPrize.

The Impact Prize competition serves as a gateway to the annual iPrize competition, as well as global competitions such as the Hult Prize.

For more information, or to make an appointment to discuss your idea, e-mail:

Or, visit the Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library (Suite 120), meet a coach, and become a member.