Deadlines fast approaching for college students from across Mohawk Valley to apply for the chance to win a cash grand prize 

SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) announced that it will resume leadership of the New York Business Plan Competition’s Mohawk Valley regional semifinal. The event, to be held virtually this year 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 State in late March and early April, with the statewide finals to be held 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.” 

Noa Simons, President and CEO of Upstate Capital Association of New York said, “We are thrilled SUNY Poly has aligned as leaders of the Mohawk Valley regional competition this year. 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 State 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, 2022. 

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.” 

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

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

  • Capital District: Application deadline: March 16. Regional Finals: live, in-person on March 25 at the University at Albany 
  • Central New York: Application deadline: March 15. Regional Finals: live, in-person on March 25 at Syracuse University 
  • Finger Lakes: Application deadline: 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 20. Regional competition: Wednesday, April 6 
  • Long Island: Application deadline: TBA. Asynchronous competition: March 22 
  • Mid-Hudson Valley: Application deadline: March 21, 2022. Final Submissions deadline for pre-event judging: March 21, 2022. Competition Day: Online on April 1 
  • Mohawk Valley: Initial regional registration due on February 20. Final application and virtual submission due on March 25 (virtual semifinal led by SUNY Poly) 
  • New York City: Application deadline: Monday March 14, Regional competition: March 18 (virtual) 
  • North Country: Application deadline: Friday, March 11; Regional Finals: Friday, April 1 
  • Southern Tier: Dates TBA 
  • Western New York: DatesTBA 

To take part in the Mohawk Valley NYBPC semifinal, student teams must submit their initial registration form by Sunday, February 20, 2022. Final video pitch materials for the Mohawk Valley regional semifinal must be submitted by Friday, March 25, 2022, with Q&A taking place at the end of March and winners announced on April 1, 2022. 

“SUNY Poly is excited to support the business dreams of our students, as well as students from around the Mohawk Valley region, by hosting the NYBPC Mohawk Valley semifinal competition,” said SUNY Polytechnic Institute College of Business Dean Arthur Lu. “This is a perfect way to showcase how our unique, hands-on educational curricula provide students with the ability to share actionable business ideas while enabling these students to network with others who can help show pathways toward commercialization.” 

“As the lead organization for the Mohawk Valley semifinal competition, we are thrilled to partner with other educational institutions across New York State to drive impactful support for this entrepreneurial business plan competition which compels students to creatively offer solutions to current challenges,” said SUNY Poly Professor of Technology Management Dr. Robert Edgell. “While the prizes act as incentives for students to pitch their business ideas, the competitive format of this event combined with the networking opportunities and chances to receive invaluable feedback are what truly make this event so valuable. It fosters innovative and entrepreneurial ideas in ways that can socially and economically benefit the New York State public and others.” 

According to NYBPC organizers, since 2010, the NYBPC has helped to launch more than 100 student-led ventures, awarded over $1 million in prizes, and generated more than $100 million in economic impact. 

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: Upstate Capital Association of New York State is the NYBPC’s leading organization, and the initiative is sponsored by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) and The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (RF), among others. 

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