In accordance with Governor Andrew Cuomo's blueprint for building New York's innovation-driven economy and encouraging high-tech entrepreneurship, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany today announced a major statewide expansion of the New York Business Plan Competition for 2013, with semifinal rounds to be held in 10 regions across the state, and the State University of New York (SUNY) joining SEFCU as Title Sponsors for the contest in which student teams compete for more than $225,000 in prizes.
"We are proud to once again partner with institutions of higher education from across New York State to encourage entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams and take their business idea from concept to market," said Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU. "As our region, and the entire state, is working diligently to stimulate economic development, this competition is an excellent example of collaboration through a public-private partnership that encourages the brightest and best to compete for start-up dollars and create their business here in the Empire State, the capital of commerce," Castellana added.
"This competition gives hundreds of college students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to bring their innovations to market in partnership with some of the top business leaders and investors New York has to offer," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "SUNY is proud to be a leadership organization in this exciting competition alongside such esteemed colleagues in higher education and business in New York State."
"The rapid growth of the New York Business Plan Competition further supports Governor Andrew Cuomo's leadership in building a world-class nanotechnology economy that truly embodies the new New York," said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, CNSE Professor and Head of NanoEconomics. "We are grateful for the support of both SEFCU and SUNY as Title Sponsors for this competition, which has grown to be the largest in the state - and one of the nation's biggest - and recognizes the powerful potential of our colleges and universities, while encouraging student-led innovation that is spurring homegrown high-tech expansion in the Empire State."
Presented by CNSE in partnership with the University at Albany School of Business, the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, and Syracuse University, the New York Business Plan Competition has grown to become the largest of its kind in New York and one of the biggest in the nation. Since 2010, more than 140 student teams from 25 colleges and universities in New York have pitched their business plans at the competition, with over $310,000 in cash and prizes being awarded.
For the first time this year, the semi-final round of competition will take place at higher education institutions throughout the 10 regions of New York, with the final round to be held on April 26, 2013 at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex.
The program encourages student-led start-ups from accredited colleges throughout the state to submit business plans for innovations in the areas that are driving the 21st century economy, including nanotechnology/advanced technology, energy/sustainability, biotechnology/healthcare, information technology/software, products/services, and social entrepreneurship/non-profit. National venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and seasoned entrepreneurs serve as judges.
The only collegiate business plan competition in the nation that is regionally coordinated through a collaborative network of more than 25 colleges and universities, regional partners include Clarkson University in the North Country; SUNYIT in the Mohawk Valley; the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the Finger Lakes Region; Canisius College in Western New York; Cornell University in the Southern Tier; Marist College in the Mid-Hudson; New York Institute of Technology in New York City; and Long Island University on Long Island.
In 2012, the grand prize winner was Strong Arm Technologies, a company made up of students from RIT that took home $50,000 in cash and $20,000 in in-kind services for developing an advanced, wearable harness system that helps a person lift heavy objects safely.