Battle of the Bronx Ends with Manhattan Teams in Second and Third Place

by, Jilleen Barrett, A&E Editor

Battle of the Bronx, a competition between Manhattan College and Fordham University that also serves as a follow-up to the Innovation Challenge, was held on Zoom on Tuesday, April 13. While the trophy may remain with Fordham this year– the winner was a student who designed an app for people affected by Sjrogen’s syndrome to keep track of their symptoms – second and third place were held by Manhattan teams Apparent and i-adapt.

Donald Gibson, the dean of the O’Malley School of Business, opened the meeting with a welcoming message that encouraged friendly competition between the two schools.

“It’s great to see you all here, you know this is a very cool… two college powerhouses here in competition,” Gibson said. “So I just want to say, you know, Shark Tank, we laugh in your face.”

In an email to The Quadrangle, Gibson explained the outcome of the Battle, which lasted about two hours, from his point of view.

“Tuesday night saw the launch of the inaugural ‘Battle of the Bronx’ business pitch competition against Fordham U., with three Jasper student teams taking on three Ram teams,” Gibson wrote. “The competition was very strong, and the judges– 3 representing Manhattan College and 3 representing Fordham– were highly qualified. They included MC alums Mike Kelly, Winston Peters and Ed Dintrone.”

Donna Rapaccioli, the dean of the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham, added to that in a comment to The Quadrangle over email.

“The cross-school collaboration and partnership made me proud as did the meaningful comments the judges provided,” Rapaccioli said. “I will not at all be surprised if each of the businesses pitched become household names in the future.”

i-adapt, the winners of the original competition last month, were pleased by their placement in the Battle. Steven Palacios, a senior engineering major and member of the team, expressed his gratitude to The Quadrangle.

“We felt confident in how we presented, as well as the responses that we had for the judges,” Palacios wrote. “3rd place was certainly fair, as everyone else on the team certainly had a strong position as well and all did a wonderful job.”
Shawn Abraham, also from

i-adapt, additionally remarked on the unique opportunity presented to them during the Battle.

“The Battle of the Bronx presented a new set of markets and companies that we were excited to compete against,” Abraham wrote. “This competition has taught us so much about our target group both from a market viewpoint as well as to look at further limits where our device especially in the medical field. From this competition, we’ve further understood the need for a prosthesis as an advisor.”

While i-adapt may have won first place in the Innovation Challenge, runner-up company Apparent pulled through and beat them for second place. Caroline Voigt, a junior who did the majority of the talking for her team, spoke to The Quadrangle about how she felt about losing to a Fordham team.

“It was cool [to get second], especially because I feel like Fordham wins everything,” Voigt said. “…And not only was it cool to get second, but that Manhattan was also third with i-adapt. And, honestly, the girl who won for her app, she deserves to win and it’s really cool to be second behind her.”

Voigt and her teammates, Celine Lewandowski and Theresa Donlon, won $2,500 in addition to the $2,500 they won during the Challenge. She detailed how they told business owners about their idea, which is to help small businesses keep track of their statistics compared to other businesses’ in order to increase income. She even said her group might try to launch Apparent with the money they earned.

“So now we have five grand and that’s a substantial amount of money,” Voigt said. “We can really start this idea, so we’re having a meeting this weekend… I mean, the people we interviewed and the business owners we interviewed really wanted it… if people at these competitions think it’s good, we might as well pursue it.”