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Monday, March 9, 2015

College students are encouraged to take part in the sixth annual New York Business Plan Competition — one of the largest contests of its kind in the country — for a chance to win a part of the $500,000 in prizes.

Student teams can submit their business plan for the chance to win. The regional semifinals will be held in March and early April, and the statewide finals will be hosted by SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany on April 24.

“This competition gives some of New York’s most entrepreneurial college students the opportunity to pursue their business ideas right here in the Empire State,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “By continuing to provide these opportunities, we’re helping the next generation of business leaders kickstart their most innovative business plans and strengthening our State’s economy in the long run. I am proud that the State is hosting this competition once again, and I encourage all interested teams to apply today.”

More than 600 students from accredited colleges and universities across New York State are expected to participate, with each team pitching a business idea to an experienced panel of judges. Judges include national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs. Interested students should submit their business plans for game-changing ideas related to areas that include:

  • nanotechnology and advanced technology 
  • energy and sustainability 
  • biotechnology and healthcare 
  • products and services 
  • information technology and software
  • social entrepreneurship and non-profit enterprise

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “New York’s growing high-tech economy is driven in large part by the innovations born on SUNY campuses across the state, where our students and faculty are consistently advancing research and development, supporting state and local businesses, and fueling the economy. This annual competition is an incredible opportunity for our students to take their best innovations and ideas to the next level, garnering new investment and making critical connections to industry mentors. We are grateful to Governor Cuomo and our business partners across New York for bringing the competition to SUNY again this year.”

The semi-final round of competition will be held in 10 regions across New York. The Western New York semi-finals will be held at Hilbert College. The deadline to enter that competition is March 25.

Since the competition’s inception in 2010, more than 1,130 student teams from 75 New York state colleges and universities have competed, claiming more than $1,300,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, Title Sponsor of the competition, said, “SEFCU is once again pleased to collaborate with the leading educational institutions in New York State and support this business plan competition to encourage entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams of bringing their product to market. For the past six years, this competition has played a critical role in the creation of new businesses, and more importantly, encouraging and guiding students to leverage New York’s innovation economy and remain here in the state that is truly the business capital of the world."

More information about the 2015 New York Business Plan Competition, including the date and location of each regional competition, an online application, and filing deadlines by region can be found at:

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