CUBE’s Eighth Annual Innovators Invitational Focuses on Legal Resources for Tenants, Immigrants, and Inventors


At the 8th Annual Stanley M. Grossman Innovators Invitational at the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE), held virtually this year, 11 teams from schools across New York State entered their final submissions to compete for $12,000 in prizes.

First place and the Manne Prize went to Erin McKissick of Columbia Law School. McKissick will receive $6,000 for Roost, an online platform to promote landlord accountability via a system to review landlords as well as a database of verifiable sources explaining and boosting public comprehension of tenant law.

Second place prize of $4,000 went to Matthew Morales and Chirag Arora of Albany Law School for Patent Attorney Toolkit. This project uses machine learning to analyze and process patent documents to increase efficiency of routine legal tasks completed by patent professionals.

Finally, third place prize of $2,000 was awarded to the sibling team of Minal Patel ’23 of Brooklyn Law School and Shivani Patel of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for Asha. This application seeks to provide immigrant children access to legal, medical, and educational resources by providing information that enables refugee/government agencies to pair individuals with professionals who can offer aid.

“We are very excited to develop Asha with the provided prize money and are grateful to the judges for their time, insight, and consideration in judging the Stanley M. Grossman Innovators Invitational and for believing in our idea,” said Minal Patel. “We are extremely passionate about continuing this project and look forward to accomplishing its goal.”

Sixteen teams entered the competition, with 11 teams making final submissions. These submissions were then reviewed and graded by a panel of 13 judges, followed by a Zoom deliberation session to determine the winners and the allocation of the prize money.

Professor John Rudikoff, CEO of CUBE, along with Professor Jonathan Askin, Innovation Catalyst for CUBE and Founder/Director of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic, and Marcelle Little Dawes ’21, the Innovator Invitational’s Student Director, organized the annual competition.

“All teams that participated deserve recognition for their work and insight, and we thank them for competing in this year’s event,” said Rudikoff. “This competition wouldn’t be possible without the time and support from our all-star panel of judges and the vision and generosity of our sponsors. We are grateful to everyone who makes this event possible every year.”


  • Bob Manne ‘77, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Ultimate Software Group
  • Christopher Doyle, Partner at Stroock, Stroock & Lavan LLP
  • Craig A. Cook, General Counsel & Secretary at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Sonya-Smith Valentine ‘97, CEO and Founder at Financially Fierce, LLC
  • Fred Rosen ‘69, President and CEO at Red Carpet Entertainment
  • D. K. Smith, Managing Director of the Brooklyn Innovation Center; CMO and Co-Founder of; Founder of Food Tech Brooklyn
  • Jeffrey Berkowitz ‘92, CEO and Director at Real Endpoints
  • Andrea Markstrom, Chief Information Officer at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP; Founder/CEO at i.WILL (Inspiring Women Igniting Leadership & Learning)
  • Michael Hassin, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder of Afterpattern
  • Denise Faltischek ‘00, Chief Strategy Officer at Aphria Inc.
  • Leo Kittay ‘08, Partner at Fross Zelnick
  • Kevin Mulcahy, VP of Education & Community Programs at Neota Logic
  • Julian Yap, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer at Realm


  • The Stanley and Nancy Grossman Family Foundation
  • The Bob and Grace Manne Family Foundation
  • Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
  • Fross Zelnick
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Julian Yap, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of Serial Box
  • i.WILL Foundation (Inspiring Women Igniting Leadership & Learning)
  • Afterpattern
  • Neota Logic