Alumnus Josh Aviv wins $1 million startup competition

October 4, 2018 | J.D. Ross

Joshua Aviv ’14 BA (Econ)/G’17 (iSchool), founder and CEO of SparkCharge, a company that produces a portable, fast charging battery unit for electric vehicles, has earned the top prize of $1 million at 43North, a Buffalo N.Y.-based startup competition.

Josh Aviv 43NorthThe 43North competition grew out of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative. Launched in 2012, Buffalo Billion provided for a $1 billion investment in the Buffalo-area economy to create jobs and spur new investment and economic activity and grew to generate new business ventures throughout Western New York. 

Aviv credits the initial idea for his company, in part, to his undergraduate experience at Syracuse University and his class in Environmental and Resource Economics (ECN 437). His idea was later refined through graduate course work at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) and with entrepreneurship support and coaching at the Syracuse University Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) and the Blackstone Launchpad at Syracuse University.

It's been thrilling to watch Josh take his project from the first gleam of an idea into the prize-winning successful company it has become,” says Professor Peter Wilcoxen, an economist who teaches about energy and environmental policy at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the College of Arts & Sciences, where he also directs the Center for Environmental Policy and Administration. “I remember when he first started talking about his idea for EV charging and his vision for bringing it into reality over the course of the semester. In fact, I still have his first business card from that semester on my wall. He's a born entrepreneur: smart, hard-working, a natural leader, and completely undaunted by obstacles." 

Read more in the SU News article "Alumnus Joshua Aviv Wins $1 Million in Buffalo Startup Competition."