SUNY Poly to lead business plan contest for college students

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MARCY - SUNY Polytechnic Institute has announced that the college will resume leadership of the New York Business Plan Competition’s Mohawk Valley regional semifinal. The event, to take place virtually at the end of March, promotes entrepreneurial opportunities for college students across the region who can pitch their business plans for the chance to win cash prizes, including $2,000, $1,000, or $500 for first, second, and third place finishers, respectively.

Interested student teams are encouraged to apply to take part as deadlines quickly approach. Regional semifinals are scheduled to take place across New York in late March and early April, with the statewide finals to take place in April in Syracuse.

“SUNY Polytechnic Institute is proud to support Upstate Capital Association of New York’s efforts by spearheading the Mohawk Valley regional New York Business Plan Competition semifinal,” said SUNY Poly Acting President Dr. Tod A. Laursen. “By partnering with SUNY schools and other colleges and universities which are facilitating regional competitions across the state, SUNY Poly is thrilled to provide a platform which encourages students to pitch their game-changing ideas so that they might transform their concepts into tangible products and services that can benefit society.”

“We are thrilled SUNY Poly has aligned as leaders of the Mohawk Valley regional competition this year,” said Noa Simons, president and CEO of Upstate Capital Association of New York. “They join a syndicate of engaged and diligent organizations that are helping to transform lives through experiential learning and expanding the impact of the NYBPC as a cornerstone of entrepreneurship across New York.”

Hundreds of students from accredited colleges and universities throughout New York are expected to participate. Each team that enters the competition will be able to pitch a business idea as part of the virtual event, with pitches evaluated by an experienced panel of judges comprised of business and industry professionals. The finals will take place online the week of April 4, followed by live and online pitches April 13, after which the first place teams from each track will pitch live at the Grand Prize Finals at the WCNY Broadcast and Education Center in Syracuse April 27.

Prizes, recognitions, and cash awards will be announced by the end of March. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded for each of the tracks. A grand prize winner will be selected from among the first place teams from each track. Winners will be selected by judging panels. Special prizes may be awarded singly or across the tracks, including Concept Stage and MWBE awards.

“My experience with the NYBPC was transformative,” said SUNY Poly alumnus Elias Zeina, owner and manager of Lafa Mediterranean by Zeina’s. “Before we competed, our professor, Dr. Robert Edgell, guided my team and me through an intensive semester-long class where we brainstormed, collaborated, and executed a business idea. From the start, our team was connected with professionals that helped develop our idea into what could have been a practical and functioning business in our community. At the regional and state competitions, our team received a tremendous amount of constructive feedback from judges that helped refine our ideas even more. The entire process gave me the strategic planning and creative thinking skills as well as the confidence to open my own business. I recommend every student who wishes to embark on an entrepreneurial journey go through this process.”

“The Griffiss Institute salutes Upstate Capital and SUNY Polytechnic Institute for their steadfast leadership and support of the Mohawk Valley region’s participation in the New York Business Plan Competition,” said Griffiss Institute President & CEO Heather Hage.

“The NYBPC is a critical driver of collegiate entrepreneurship across New York State, and there is no better institution than SUNY Poly to lead the program for the Mohawk Valley, with its rich legacy in industrial research and technology commercialization to inspire the next generation,” Hage added.

Interested students should submit their business plans for innovative ideas related to areas that include:

Safety, Power & Mobility: Defense, Energy First Responder, Infrastructure, Mobility & Transportation;

Health & Wellbeing: Education, Health IT, Life Science, Medtech, Wellbeing;

Food: Agricultural Technology, Food Product, Food Service;

Media, Art & Entertainment: Entertainment, Gaming, Media, Art; and

All Other New Ventures: All ventures that do not fit in one or more of the prior sectors.

The semifinal round of competition will take place in 10 regions across New York State, based on the 10 Regional Economic Development Councils. Participating host institutions and semifinal round event dates include: 

To take part in the Mohawk Valley NYBPC semifinal, student teams must submit their initial registration form by Sunday, Feb. 20. Final video pitch materials for the Mohawk Valley regional semifinal must be submitted by Friday, March 25, with the question and answer program taking place at the end of March. Winners will be announced on April 1.

More information regarding the 2022 New York Business Plan Competition, including details about each regional competition, how to apply online, and a list of filing deadlines by region can be found at: nybpc.org.

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