Touro College’s Lander College for Men Announces Winners of Student Entrepreneur of the Year Competition
Director of Communications
New York, N.Y. – A team of two students from Rambam Mesivta High School in Lawrence, N.Y. have been named grand prize winners of the 2010-2011 Lander College for Men Student Entrepreneur of the Year Competition, held May 1 at LCM’s Queens campus in Kew Gardens Hills, N.Y. This competition, in its third year, is designed to motivate students at local yeshiva high schools by encouraging their ingenuity.
The team of Noah Klein and Jason Peretz earned the grand prize for their “E-Design” invention, a device that controls the amount of electricity in wall outlets, thereby reducing overall electricity costs to home and business owners.
“Lander College for Men is committed to stimulating the entrepreneurial and creative energy in young Jewish students so that they may contribute their ingenuity to the Jewish community and beyond, for the betterment of humankind,” said Dr. Moshe Sokol, dean of LCM.
Students from yeshiva high schools throughout the New York metropolitan area participated in the competition. They were asked to submit, either by themselves or as part of a team, brief summaries of up to 500 words describing their idea or invention. A distinguished panel of judges, consisting of LCM business faculty, then offered the students suggestions and encouragement to help them further develop their basic plans into final business plans. The plans were then again judged in their final versions, with five selected as finalists. Their authors were invited to make oral presentations to a second panel of judges consisting of leading business entrepreneurs, executives and educators.
“As in previous years, we were extremely impressed with the caliber of business plans submitted,” said Dr. Ira Teich, competition director, who added that this year, for the first time, previous winners were allowed to mentor current contestants. “These students represent the best and the brightest from the region’s yeshiva high schools and some of them have gone on to receive patents for their inventions or funding for their projects.”
The winners were chosen based upon their creativity, soundness of business plans, and their oral presentations. Prizes totaling $3,000 were awarded, with $1,500 going to the grand prize winners, $1,000 to the second place winners, and $500 to the third place winners. All winners received plaques honoring their achievements. This year’s competition was sponsored by the Teich Family and The Dean’s Fund of the Lander College for Men.
The second place award went to Jordan Odinsky of DRS Yeshiva High School in Woodmere, N.Y., for his invention, “Click It,” which enables women to change the height of their shoe heels by clicking in heels of different heights. Third place went to Avi Soep, also of DRS, for his “Spoil Detector,” a milk carton cap that indicates when milk is beginning to spoil.
Honorable mentions went to Sylvia Cattan, Barbara Franco, and Rachel Tawil of Magen David Yeshivah High School in Brooklyn for their “Chill Bottle,” which, when squeezed, instantly cools its liquid contents; and to Akiva Weinstein of the Jewish Education Center of Elizabeth, N.J., for his “BeLikeHalen,” a computer device with software that helps musical composers visualize notes while writing compositions.
In addition to Dr. Teich, the preliminary LCM reviewers included Dr. Kenneth S. Bigel, professor of finance and chairman of the business department, and Herb Ratner, assistant dean. The final judges consisted of Steve Brown, chairman of the LCM board of trustees; Seymour Liebman, executive vice president of Canon USA, board member of Canon Worldwide, worldwide councilor of Canon, and graduate of Touro College’s Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center; Glen Pargament, owner of a seat on the Commodities Exchange that deals with natural gas futures; and Gerry Golub, retired managing partner of Goldstein, Golub and Kessler, LLP.
Lander College for Men/Beis Medrash L’Talmud, located in Queens, N.Y., is committed to the pursuit of excellence in Jewish and academic studies in a personalized environment. Established in the fall of 2000, the purpose of LCM is to provide a superior college education for students committed to serious Beis Medrash learning in an atmosphere of Torah.