Student-founded agency wins first prize in ’Cuse Tank competition

November 28, 2018

The first-ever ’Cuse Tank—co-sponsored by the Blackstone LaunchPad and Syracuse University Libraries—celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of SU innovators during Family Weekend in October. A distinguished panel of parent judges who are successful entrepreneurs from a variety of industry sectors voted on finalist teams who vied for $10,000 in prizes.

First prize and a $5,000 award went to CLLCTVE Agency LLC, which was founded by Ryan Williams and Kelsey Davis. Davis is a senior television, radio and film major in the Newhouse School.

Photo of Ryan Williams and Kelsey Davis
Ryan Williams and Kelsey Davis

CLLCTVE is a creative agency that connects brands with college students who can create transmedia content. CLLCTVE repositions brands for success, while simultaneously nurturing the freelance community on college campuses across the country. Clients have included Coca-Cola, Land Rover, PUMA and SU. The team is already working with 50 universities and expanding to others.

CLLCTVE also hosted a successful, widely attended conference for creatives, “Art of Finesse,” at the Newhouse School as part of Family Weekend activities. The education and networking event featured industry advisors who spoke on an array of topics relative to honing a creative lifestyle and capitalizing on talents in productive ways. Keynote speakers and panelists were Evin Robinson, co-founder of New York on Tech; Tiffany Bender, senior producer at Teen Vogue; and Jonathan Jackson, co-founder of BLAVITY.

“It was truly humbling to win this award amongst so many other great companies,” says Davis. “Ryan and I moved to Syracuse in July for the sole purpose of getting plugged into the SU innovation ecosystem as soon as possible. Since then, we have been working extremely closely with our advisers and the Blackstone LaunchPad to build an agency that develops collegiate creatives, in partnership with universities across the country.

“We are excited to develop creative solutions for brands looking to reach the Generation Z consumer market. Thanks to the Blackstone LaunchPad, we’re off to a great start, but this is just the beginning.”

Tying for second place were MedUX, a wearable, lightweight IV shoulder device, and Promptous, an insurance claims processing platform using blockchain technology and smart contracts. Each company was awarded a $2,500 prize.