Sonya Tareke, left, and Malkijah Griffiths with Team Real Talk won first place in the University at Buffalo’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition.
Winner Malkijah Griffiths with Team Real Talk speaks at the Panasci startup competition at UB.
An ed-tech startup that helps organizations pursue diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace won first place in the University at Buffalo’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition.
Team Real Talk founders Sonya Tareke, Malkijah Griffiths and Janelle Fore won $25,000 in seed funding and $30,000 in in-kind services for their instructional platform that would help companies and institutions have conversations about sensitive issues like race and gender to promote safe spaces for all.
“We learned from the pandemic and the ‘Great Resignation’ that many employees were frustrated about low pay, workplace barriers and feeling disrespected by their employer or co-workers,” Tareke said. “Our platform helps create healthy work environments through guided, structured conversations in real time, with online tracking of feedback and progress.”
A total of 30 UB student startup teams participated in the Panasci process that began in February and produced five finalists who made their pitches to judges from the startup and business world this week.
The second-place award of $10,000 in seed funding went to RHM Innovations, a company that makes a shower chair attachment to help ill, injured or aging people maintain their independence and dignity while bathing.
For the first time, the 22-year-old competition added a People’s Choice category selected by online voters. That $1,000 prize went to Networthy, a personal finance platform to help college students learn how to manage debt.
Must-read local business coverage that exposes the trends, connects the dots and contextualizes the impact to Buffalo’s economy.
Higher Education Reporter
I’m the new Higher Education reporter on The Buffalo News business enterprise team. I previously worked at The Post-Standard/Syracuse.com and Syracuse’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo. I’m a Rochester native with family in Buffalo. Email me at jgramza@buffnews.com.
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Sonya Tareke, left, and Malkijah Griffiths with Team Real Talk won first place in the University at Buffalo’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition.
Winner Malkijah Griffiths with Team Real Talk speaks at the Panasci startup competition at UB.
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