The Stack Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hosts Annual 'Spark Tank'
"The Center gives them the confidence and competencies needed to succeed when they leave Siena and to make a difference in their communities by providing sustainable solutions to business challenges. Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills are a must in the 21st century."
- Michael J. Hickey ’83, executive director of the Stack Center.
This month, Innovate 518 partner spotlight talks to the Stack Center at Siena College. The Stack Center, a center for entrepreneurship and innovation sees about 300 student business ideas from development to commercialization annually. Completely free to students, the center provides students with resources such as the "COTE ’76" team room and maker space, 3-D printers, conference rooms, and office suites. The Stack Center's process of “Innovate-Create-Accelerate” allows students to apply the skills needed to develop and implement successful programs and business ventures. Students receive a lifetime’s worth of business and entrepreneurship training in a fast-paced, accelerated experience.
The Spark Tank is an annual idea competition hosted by the center open to all students for cash prizes. This year, brothers Vincent Mills (2019) and Zachary Mills (2021) of Syracuse and their business Funletz were awarded the $1,000 first prize. With the idea of aglets - the little tags at the end of zippers, shoelaces and hoodie ties, being replaced with small charms. You can check them out at
. In addition to the Mills brothers, seventeen other teams competed in this semester’s Spark Tank on October 22.
“It was truly a spirited environment this year,” said Michael J. Hickey ’83, executive director of the Stack Center. “I was very impressed with the passion and creativity displayed so early in the academic year. The Stack Center looks forward to spending time with the teams throughout the year making their ideas come alive.” (Siena.edu, 2018)
Second place of $500 went to the Living Recycler, a worm-based composting system with an easy-access, sliding bottom that allows the user “to eliminate the disgusting parts of composting.” While Third Place tied between
Civie that allows individuals to invest in things like art or real estate without having to put in a large initial sum of money and Keg Cooler, an insulated cooler with all-terrain wheels and a locking mechanism that holds the keg in place.