Welcome to the finals of EntrepreNU2015! Final presentations and the announcement of the winner will be in the Leary Theatre at 3 p.m. on March 30. All are welcome!

Over 100 students and 40 teams registered for the competition and spent the fall semester learning about Niagara Falls, problems surrounding food, nutrition, and hunger, and devising innovative solutions. We have chosen three finalists, who received $500 prizes and will make their final pitches to the community in March for $10,000 in start-up funding.  Below, you will find information and a video for each team. Learn more about the judging criteria here.



Team members: Cameron Kyle, Robert De Jaray, Andre Ware, and Emily Palermo

Project Overview: ConnectU is our solution to addressing food-accessibility issues in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Our idea connects the local knowledge and resources that are available to us in our own backyard. We understand that everyone’s situation is different in life and that’s why our services are nutritious, convenient and affordable. We deliver completely customizable food boxes right to ones door on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Our business is designed to be flexible to adapt to the changing needs of our community.

Project Goal: ConnectU’s goal is to inform, educate and create sustainable change in the behaviors of Niagara Falls residents. As our mission statement proclaims, Building a sense of community. One neighborhood, one family, one meal at a time.

Why Us?: Our team possesses a unique combination of knowledge, experience and expertise. With members majoring in political science, social work, marketing and management, we have the diversification, passion and commitment to and execute the ConnectU business model. 

O.A.S.I.S. (Organization for the Advancement of Socially Integrated Sustainability)

Team Members: Matthew Lanning, James Lioi, and Caralynne Shaffer

Project Overview: Our plan is to empower the local community by providing access to nutritious local food and educational classes on how to utilize this produce. We will accomplish this by:

  • Establishing a local farmer co-op.
  • Providing a commercial teaching kitchen and educational course.
  • Adding a sustainable aquaponics fish farm in future phases to extend the availability of food.

Our proposal seeks to provide the residents of northern Niagara Falls a sustainable option of quality food products by establishing a farmer’s co-op in the local community along with offering culinary education to reduce the residents' dependence on more expensive and less healthy processed food.

Why Us?: We are a group of motivated students with backgrounds in agriculture and health who are dedicated to the improvement of the Niagara Falls community with an improved idea that is known for its success across the country and have established partnerships with many enthusiastic leaders in the community.

Community Kitchen: Access. Knowledge. Community

Team members: Maggie Hempel, Mackenzie Kutzuba, and Victoria Swider

Project Overview: The Community Kitchen would be a non-for profit organization that would increase access to food in the Niagara Falls region. A partnership with a local farm, farmers market, or TOPS would assist in the increasing access to fresh produce at a more affordable cost. It would provide classes and demonstrations to people who would like to learn how to prepare new products and healthier meals. Also, The Community Kitchen would have multiple kitchen set-ups with essential appliances that people would need to prepare meals that they learned through the provided classes right then and there. 

Project Goal: Provide Access to more nutritious options of produce and products at a more affordable cost. Increase Knowledge on how to prepare different types of food. Lastly, get more people involved including families, friends, and children to create a better sense of Community. Ultimately, the goal would be to recreate Community Kitchens wherever there are food deserts. 

Why Us?: Our team has a member with a business background as well as members pursuing a helping profession through the social work program. Our priority is to help the people of Niagara Falls and we believe The Community Kitchen will do just that. We hope to make this dream a reality.