First Ever Excell Challenge Rewards Promising Business Concept with Access to Capital

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Excell Partners presented its first ever Excell Challenge award to a team from Syracuse University at the Pre-Seed Workshop that wrapped up earlier this month in Syracuse.

Excell Challenge recognized the workshop team with the best ability to turn a good idea into a compelling business concept. A team from Syracuse University won after successfully making the case for its patient monitoring technology.

The award comes with an optional seed money contribution up to $10,000 to pay for business acceleration services. Under the award’s terms, the contribution is considered a loan provided in the form of a convertible debt. Excell Challenge winners are also eligible to receive Excell’s early-stage venture funding.

“We see a lot of new technologies and exciting research coming out of universities in Upstate New York, but not enough support in the pre-seed space to meet demand,” said Rami Katz, COO for Excell Partners. “Through Pre-Seed Workshop and Excell funding, we can reduce the lag between each stage to accelerate business growth.” 

Excell Partners, a state-supported seed fund, created the Excell Challenge as an avenue to support the commercial success of promising companies coming out of Pre-Seed Workshop­—a program that rallies community talent and resources to examine and transform high tech business ideas into pre-seed stage companies.

“Pre-Seed Workshop is a very cost-effective method for vetting a number of technologies in a short period of time,” said Katz, who provided feedback on an expert panel during last week’s workshop in Syracuse.

“The Excell Challenge is an excellent opportunity, and provides a much-needed launching point for teams that actively want to pursue commercialization of their technology,” said Heather Erickson, president of MedTech.

Pre-Seed Workshops are held throughout the year at various host-city locations across New York state. Earlier this month, MedTech and The Tech Garden hosted teams from Binghamton University, Clarkson University, Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University.  


Excell Partners is a unique, regional economic development partnership established in cooperation with the University of Rochester and the State of New York to manage a state-supported fund which provides pre-seed and seed stage financing to high-tech start-up companies in Upstate New York. The fund’s mission is to support regional economic development by bridging the pre-seed and seed stage funding gap in Upstate New York while generating sufficient returns so that, over time, the fund becomes self-sustaining. Learn more at


MedTech is an active association of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical technology companies, their suppliers and service providers, and research universities. We boost the growth and prosperity of our members by connecting them for collaboration, offering educational programs, sharing news and information, and advocating for the industry with government and leaders. For more information, visit   

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