92Y Genius Start-Up Competition Winners.

More than 50 entrepreneurs entered 92nd Street Y’s Genius Start-Up Competition, hosted as part of the 7 Days of Genius festival. The four winners were announced at the Genius of the Start-Up event with Barbara Corcoran and Jonathan Medved. The entries were judged by 92Y, Cornell Tech and venture capital firm RRE Ventures on the ideas’ innovation, potential impact and implementation plan. The winners are:


  • First Place: Nick Sonnenberg of New York, NY’s Calvin app, which will revolutionize calendars. Currently, calendars are just static displays of events you created. Calvin will anticipate what you want to do and make plans for you – for example, alerting you when a friend will be in town, and suggesting dinner reservations based on your tastes and OpenTable restaurant availabilities. The beta version of the app is already up and running, and Sonnenberg and his team expect that in six months, they will have 250,000 users making at least one plan a day. Sonnenberg will receive six months of pre-paid co-working space, consultations with Cornell Tech and RRE Ventures, and a complimentary Entrepreneurial Life class at Cornell Tech led by Greg Pass, former CTO of Twitter.
  • First Runner Up: Sashti Balu of Brooklyn, NY’s We Radiate, which aims to develop and distribute alternative energy solutions that are both sustainable and economically viable for communities and cities. The solutions focus on the compost process and its ability to harness heat energy to build independence from traditional energy sources, which could be used to heat greenhouses, outdoor patio spaces, bus shelters and more. Balu will receive an invitation to Cornell Tech’s Open Studio day and 92Y Spring 2014 Talks Season Pass.
  • Second Runner Up: Sherri Ross of Birmingham, Alabama’s idea for a city-wide resource to help the homeless find information in real time, including what shelters are open, where beds are available and where meals will be served using a small panel box mounted on bus stop poles. Ross will receive a 92Y Spring 2014 Talks Season Pass.
  • Third Runner Up: Maxwell Goldbas of New York, NY’s idea for a floating rig that would be a waste water treatment and fuel production facility. Wastewater would be treated and the grey water would be pumped into bags of algae, which could be transformed into fuels. Goldbas will receive a 92Y Spring 2014 Talks Season Pass.