Two SUNY Oswego business administration majors and student-athletes, Noah Bull and Tyler Flack, won the university's 2023 Launch It student entrepreneurship competition with the idea for a mental wellness app.

"Our business idea was Anonymous Athlete," Bull said. "We want to create a safe haven for college and pro athletes across the country. We just wanna be an outlet, an honest outlet. I know there's always in-person communities and events for that, but we just wanna be something that students, student athletes and pro athletes can reach out to 24/7."

As they are both members of the Laker men's hockey team, "we know how busy a schedule can get," Flack said.

"Since we were probably four or five, we were playing hockey and other sports like that, so we know it can get pretty hectic and just being in person all the time kind of is a weight on your shoulders," Flack noted "So having this avenue where you can be online and kind of be in the comfort of your own home while you're having these conversations is very important as well."

"This started out as an idea," Bull said. "We kind of made like this presentation for it. We kind of went through trying to research what, like how is it feasible."

The $2,500 prize money will help get the concept in motion, and they continue to research other avenues to move Anonymous Athlete forward.

"Noah's done some great research regarding the mental health practitioners, and he also found some grants that we would look into in order to build some revenue for this and get it really going," Flack said. 

"It's gonna be a website where a lot of athletes can reach it on their own collegiate programs," Bull said. 

With the Launch It program, teams receive help from alumni mentors, and this year's winner appreciated the guidance of 1992 graduate Bridget Curran.

"We had a quick Zoom call with her and she was just such a calming presence," Flack said. "We both didn't really know what to expect going into that final, and she just kind of sat us back, told us we had a good idea, we had good charisma, we had a good opportunity to present our product and I mean, she just made us feel so relaxed and we couldn't thank her enough for what she'd done for us."

"Obviously, it was a really cool experience," Bull said. "It was a little nerve-wracking, obviously speaking in front of the judges there, but yeah, just like being up there with Tyler was a lot of fun. He's really good at public speaking and kind of projecting himself, so it was really fun."

About Launch It

An annual student startup competition coordinated by the School of Business, this year's Launch It featured more than 100 business pitches and a semifinal round, after which judges completed the difficult process of whittling the field to six finalists. Frintz sponsored the $2,500 first-place prize.

Aqua Avenger (a drone to extinguish fires) by Price Flores earned second prize and a $1,500 award, donated by Wegmans. 

The third-place prize, $1,000 sponsored by Fulton Savings Bank, went to Battery EMT ( a battery repair/replacement service) by Natasha Robinson.

The Fan Favorite prize of $500 -- determined by audience voting -- honored Spotlight (preventing online scams app for small business) by Jessica Metzner and Sriam Ventakassamy.
-- Produced by Melinda Brancato of the Class of 2025