NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Sep 23, 2014) - Digital media holding company CPXi, in conjunction with Hofstra University, today announced the winners of the second annual Hofstra-CPXi Venture Tech Challenge, an entrepreneurial contest honoring young visionaries. The competition was designed by CPXi founder and CEO Mike Seiman, who graduated from Hofstra with a computer science degree in 2001, and who is now a member of the school's Board of Trustees. The purpose of the contest is to encourage young people in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to embrace entrepreneurship even as they pursue their undergraduate studies. Seiman started CPXi in 2000 while attending Hofstra and has since grown the company into a 130+ person ad-tech industry leader with global reach, serving billions of online ad impressions every day.

"The entire CPXi team offers our deepest congratulations to the winners," Seiman said. "We are both thrilled and gratified to be able to offer them the opportunity to advance their innovative business ideas. Industries can be changed almost overnight by one great idea and a leadership team with the guts to turn that idea into a reality. There are no prerequisites for entrepreneurship; all you need is a vision and the courage and work ethic to see it through. We will continue to host this annual competition with Hofstra and hope it continues to inspire students and graduates to put in the work to see their career dreams come to fruition."

The contest received 40 entries from students across Hofstra University's various majors. Teams of up to six students were required to submit a two-page executive summary and a proof of concept such as a device, software or app, as well as a best guess document describing the likely market.

On Sept. 17, entrants presented final concepts and business plans to a judging committee comprised of Hofstra University faculty and administrators, as well as CPXi executives, including Seiman.

CPXi awarded the first place prize of $50,000 to two computer science majors, senior Brian Blanco, and sophomore Ashish Pandhi for their project, Queue+, a social media scheduling and blog management platform. Thrilled to have won the grand prize, Pandhi explained, "No matter what you're interested in, go ahead and build it, because there is a market for it."

The second place prize of $20,000 went to Justin Phillip Henneman, a fourth year medical student at Hofstra, who designed a solution that lowers the failure rate of ventriculoperitoneal shunts and warns users when they are about to fail. Asked how young people can engage their own entrepreneurial spirit, Henneman replied, "Always keep your eyes out for things that you don't like, because there's no shortage of problems to be fixed."

  • 3rd place: Michael Moskie and Shashank Sanjay -- last year's first place winners -- for Pillar Printing, their startup business bringing fast, competitively priced 3D printers to consumers and hobbyists
  • 4th place: Daniel Slamowitz, Charles Slamowitz, Himanshu Dhameliya and Alesse Gozza for Komplaint Box, a smartphone app that allows users to officially complain about any service or product
  • 5th place: Anthony Argutto, Nickolas Boroda and Henry Gross for LogCallMD, a communication platform that documents and tracks all doctor-to-doctor and doctor-to-patient communication.

Third, fourth and fifth place teams received $10,000 each.

"Hofstra is proud of all the students who competed in the Hofstra University-CPXi Venture Tech Challenge, and to the winners, congratulations and good luck as you take the next step in your journey as budding entrepreneurs," Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz said. "All of the student projects were highly sophisticated and very impressive; your future prospects are clearly very bright. This competition is an extraordinary opportunity for our students to get real-world experience about how to take an idea from the classroom to the boardroom. It is especially fitting that it comes from our own alumni, Mike Seiman, CEO of CPXi, whose vision and generosity is inspiring to a new generation of Hofstra innovators."

About CPXi
CPXi is a digital media holding company providing technologies, services and processes that benefit both marketers and content providers. The company operates divisions that evolve in parallel with emerging digital media capabilities leveraged by the industry. These divisions operate both independently and in concert, to maximize both efficiency and effectiveness. CPXi is a privately held company.

About Hofstra University
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 11,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, applied science, communication, education, health sciences and human services, honors studies, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.

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