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Team Eco Guys, Inc. wins Startup Allegany Collegiate Competition


Eco Guys, Inc celebrate victory: (L to R;) Alfred State President Dr. Steven Mauro, Reza Rashidi, Zackary Martin, David Benson, and Interim Provost Dr. Craig Clark.

ALFRED, NY, April 12, 2022 – The Alfred State College team of Zackary Martin and David Benson teamed up to win the 2nd annual Allegany County Startup Collegiate Competition.

Martin and Benson created “Eco Guys, Inc.” and were mentored by Boh Ruffin (Corning Inc.), Reza Rashidi (associate professor of mechanical engineering technology), and Tim Cochran (professor of mechanical and electrical engineering technology). The pair won a $5,000 grand prize.

The competition, titled “AHA” because it involved students from Allegany County’s three institutions of higher education—Alfred University, Houghton College Alfred State College, and—was based on solving problems faced by businesses, with a goal of promoting sustainability through entrepreneurship.

The event was hosted by Alfred University and its Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) and was organized by IncubatorWorks of Alfred, a state-of-the-art incubator offering services and facilities to foster growth of entrepreneurial businesses in ceramics, glass, advanced materials, and related technology-based industries.

Teams presented ideas for promoting sustainability in business, with the winning plans determined by a panel of judges made up of Alison Wolfe, professor of marketing at Elmira College; Casey Joyce, president and CEO of Otis Eastern Service, LLC; and Alan Rae, director at the University at Buffalo’s NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics. There were $6,500 in cash prizes awarded.

Startup Allegany is a county-wide stakeholder group that meets regularly to promote entrepreneurship in Allegany County through events and programs that nurture startups and connect them with investors and corporations. Members include Allegany County, Alfred State College, Alfred University, Houghton College, IncubatorWorks, ACCORD Corp., and the Western New York Incubator Network.

An Alfred State degree gets results!

At Alfred State College, hands-on experience leads to career success. An emphasis on real-world training enables students to reach goals and develop the skills needed to thrive at in-demand jobs. With 80 majors, 100 clubs and civic groups, and 17 NCAA Division III sports, Alfred State prepares students to become leaders, achievers, and Pioneers who are ready to Hit the Ground Running …

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