SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Eric Mower + Associates has selected Centscere, LLC, a startup social media donation platform, as this year’s Market Ready Award winner. As part of Startup Labs Syracuse, Central New York’s largest business competition launched by CenterState CEO, the award provides Centscere with a suite of marketing and branding services from EMA valued at $50,000, to advance its platform to market.
“We are thrilled to announce Centscere as this year’s award winner,” said Andres Echenique, senior partner at EMA. “Centscere has already successfully completed an open beta test phase, and the technology is proven, simple and easy-to-use. Their innovative idea is missing from the social media landscape and with a sound business plan, they are ready and able to make a dent in the marketplace.”
Founded in 2012 by Ian Dickerson, a then-junior at Syracuse University, Centscere simplifies charitable giving by linking users’ social media activities to participating charities. When joining Centscere, users select the charities they would like to support and an amount of money they are willing to give for every “like”, “post” and “tweet” they execute. Once the value of a user’s activities reaches $7.99, a donation is made to the selected charity. Ninety-five percent of the funds raised go directly to charities.
EMA selected Centscere from a pool of three finalists in the Startup Labs Syracuse competition– the region’s largest business competition launched by CenterState CEO. Selection criteria for the winner included a compelling product or service backed by a sound business plan; readiness to launch; demonstrated ability to attract the capital required to compete in-market; and a management and advisory team that is receptive to strategic, creative, and innovative marketing ideas.
The finalists that participated in a five-day boot camp and 22-day program, culminating in a live pitch. Centscere was also selected as the winner of the Startup Labs award, receiving a $150,000 cash prize funded by Startup Labs, CenterState CEO, Excel Partners, National Grid and the other sponsors of the competition.
Startup Labs Syracuse provides seed capital, mentorship and technical support to teams in an effort to help validate their team and business model to later stage investors. Syracuse is the first U.S. city to host Startup Labs.
With the award, Centscere becomes a client of EMA, with the agency serving as a strategic communications advisor and consultant. Centscere will benefit from EMA’s expertise and experience in public relations, social marketing, branding, and digital technology.
This is the second installment of the Market Ready Award. Last year’s award went to Rosie Applications, Inc., an online platform for grocery delivery that tracks items customers buy most and alerts them when they are running low on common items.