Governor Cuomo Announces Annual $500,000 New York Business Plan

Governor Cuomo Announces Annual $500,000 New York Business Plan

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 14:38
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For Immediate Release: 3/9/2016

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo


Deadlines fast approaching for college students from across New York to apply for the chance to win $100,000 grand prize

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today encouraged college students across the state to apply for the seventh annual New York Business Plan Competition, an event that has quickly become one of the largest contests of its kind in the nation. Each team that enters the competition will be able to pitch a business idea to an experienced panel of judges, made up of national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and private equity investors – and potentially win more than $500,000 in total prizes, including a $100,000 grand prize.

The regional semifinals are scheduled to take place in late March and early April, and the statewide finals will be hosted by SUNY Polytechnic Institute at its Albany site on Friday, April 29 . A list of application deadlines by region is available at .

“This competition provides some of our state’s most entrepreneurial students the opportunity to put their best business concepts to the test,” said Governor Cuomo. “This is a truly unique chance for today’s brightest minds – and tomorrow’s business leaders – to transform their ideas into reality. I’m proud to host this competition because it helps people across the state achieve their dreams and creates a stronger economy overall, and I encourage interested students to apply today.”

Hundreds of students from accredited colleges and universities throughout New York State are expected to participate. Interested students should submit their business plans for innovative ideas related to areas that include:

  • Nanotechnology and Advanced Technology
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Biotechnology and Healthcare
  • Information Technology and Software
  • Products and Services
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Non-Profit Enterprise

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “Once again, we are grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo and our business partners for enabling this one-of-a-kind competition where SUNY schools, in partnership with colleges and universities across the state, play a pivotal role in encouraging students to take their often brilliant ideas and turn them into tangible products and services as they make life-changing connections with industry experts. SUNY is always proud to grow New York’s high-tech economy through the promotion of game-changing ideas, and this is a perfect example that shows how SUNY sets the standard and continues to promote the kinds of advanced research and development that can turn into viable business opportunities and benefit the entire state.”

The semi-final round of competition will be held in 10 regions across New York State, based on Governor Cuomo’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils, which have spurred grassroots economic growth, investment, and entrepreneurship. Participating host institutions and semifinal round event dates include:

  • Capital Region : The semifinal competition will be held at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Albany site on April 1 ; co-hosts include SUNY Poly, University at Albany, Albany Law School, and Sage Colleges.
  • Central NY : The semifinal competition will be held at and hosted by Syracuse University on April 12 .
  • Finger Lakes : The semifinal competition will be held at SUNY Geneseo on April 13 ; co-hosts include the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and SUNY Geneseo.
  • Long Island : The semifinal competition will be held at Farmingdale State College on April 7 ; co-hosts include Stony Brook University, Farmingdale State College, and Hofstra University.
  • Mid-Hudson : The semifinal competition will be held at and hosted by Marist College on April 15 .
  • Mohawk Valley : The semifinal competition will be hosted by SUNY Polytechnic Institute at its Utica site on April 8 .
  • New York City : The semifinal competition will be held at the SUNY Global Center on March 24 .
  • North Country : The semifinal competition will be held at and hosted by Clarkson University on April 8 .
  • Southern Tier : The semifinal competition will be held at Cornell University on April 9 ; co-hosts include Ithaca College, Binghamton University, Cornell University, and SUNY Broome Community College.
  • Western NY : The semifinal competition will be held at Hilbert College on April 8 ; co-hosts include WNY College Connection and University at Buffalo.

Since the competition’s inaugural event in 2010, more than 1,600 student teams from 75 New York State colleges and universities have competed, claiming more than $1,800,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

Dr. Pradeep Haldar, SUNY Poly Interim Dean of the College of Nanoscale Engineering and Technology Innovation; Vice President of Entrepreneurship Innovation and Clean Energy Programs; and Professor and Head of Nanoeconomics said, “As an annual testament to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership that has directly kick-started a high-tech, sustainable business climate in New York State, the New York Business Plan Competition invites college students to pitch their most disruptive, game-changing ideas to shake up and further grow New York State’s wide-ranging business ecosystem. This unique competition showcases what is possible when world-class higher education institutions empower students by connecting them with the right resources and experts to chart a course from the classroom and laboratory settings to the business world. With Title Sponsor SEFCU providing significant support for this critical competition, in addition to support from sponsors NYSERDA, First Niagara, Center for Economic Growth, and Albany Medical Center, the competition has grown from only one dozen teams competing for less than $30,000 in prizes in 2010 to one of the largest student business competitions in the country. In 2016, participating college student teams will look to claim more than $500,000 in total prizes meant to encourage and nurture innovative ideas to the point where they can impact the state’s economy.”

Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, Title Sponsor of the competition, said, “Since the competition’s inception, SEFCU has been pleased to partner with leading educational institutions in New York State to encourage young entrepreneurs to bring their product ideas from simple presentations to market. This competition has played a critical role in the creation of new, transformative, and viable businesses that leverage New York’s innovation ecosystem and encourage some of New York’s brightest students to remain here in New York State—the business capital of the world."

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), New York has become a national leader in clean energy and continues to advance innovative strategies to address energy challenges. The New York Business Plan Competition will generate fresh, innovative ideas from young minds, and NYSERDA supports this knowledge sharing and entrepreneurship spirit in developing energy solutions that will expand New York’s clean energy economy.”

More information regarding the 2016 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: .


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