Deadlines approaching for students from colleges across Mohawk Valley to find mentorship and compete for cash prizes


SUNY Poly announced that it will host the New York Business Plan Competition’s Mohawk Valley regional semifinal once again, with Hartwick College and its new Innovation Center partnering to co-direct the in-person event on April 14. The competition 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, and $500 for first, second, and third place finishers, respectively, along with the opportunity to engage with mentors and judges from the business community.

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 through mid-April, with the statewide Grand Prize Finals to be held in April 27 in Syracuse. The deadline to apply is February 19 for Mohawk Valley teams.

“SUNY Polytechnic Institute is once again proud to support Upstate Capital Association of New York’s efforts by hosting the Mohawk Valley regional New York Business Plan Competition semifinal, and doing so in partnership with Hartwick College,” said SUNY Poly Officer-in-Charge Dr. Andrew Russell. “SUNY Poly is excited to foster an entrepreneurial atmosphere through this competition that provides a platform for students to pitch their ideas and to get support for transforming their ideas into actual products and services that can improve our society.”

Noa Simons, President and CEO of Upstate Capital Association of New York said, “We organize the NYBPC to foster entrepreneurship through experiential education so students can gain insights and perspective on developing new ventures from people in the business community. Post-program mentorship and cash prizes for winning teams help launch new ventures. We see the value of entrepreneurial skills, no matter what direction students take their careers, and are excited about supporting people start businesses and move toward owning their economic futures.”

Hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students from accredited colleges and universities throughout New York State are expected to participate. Teams that compete in regional competitions pitch a business idea to a panel of experienced judges comprised of business and industry professionals. The top 12 teams from 10 regions across New York advance to the finals. First-round finals will take place online from April 18-24, and the top 60 teams will compete in-person on April 27 in Syracuse. The top six teams compete in the Grand Prize Finals for a grand prize of $25,000 at the end of the day. Everyone is invited to join the April 27 event.

Interested students should submit their business plans for innovative ideas related to the “tracks” listed below. The tracks include:

  • Safety, Power & Mobility: Defense, Energy First Responder, Infrastructure, Mobility & Transportation
  • Health & Wellbeing: Health IT, Life Science, Medtech, Wellbeing
  • Food & Agtech: Agricultural Technology, Food Product, Food Service
  • Learn, Work & Play: Education, Entertainment, Gaming, Media, Art
  • Products & Hardware: For venturesthat do not fit into other tracks
  • Software & Services: For venturesthat do not fit into other tracks

Regional competitions will be held in 10 regions across New York State, based on the state’s 10 Economic Development Regions. Event dates, application deadlines, and locations include:

  • Capital District:Application deadline: March 27. Regional Finals: live, in-person on April 1 at the University at Albany.
  • Central New York: Application deadline: March 20. Regional Finals: live, in-person on March 31 at SUNY Oswego.
  • Finger Lakes: Application deadline: March 20; Submissions due March 22. Regional competition date and location TBA.
  • Long Island: Application deadline: February 23. Virtual competition: March 31.
  • Mid-Hudson Valley: Application deadline: March 10; Submissions due by March 23. Regional Finals: live, in-person on March 31 at Marist.
  • Mohawk Valley: Sign up by February 19. Apply by April 11. Regional Finals: live, in-person on April 14 at SUNY Poly’s Utica campus.
  • New York City: Apply by March 27; Submissions due April 3; Competition results: April 11.
  • North Country: Applyby March 23; Regional Finals: live, in-person March 31 at Saranac Hotel.
  • Southern Tier:Apply by April 7; Regional Finals: virtual on April 14.
  • Western New York: Apply by March 26. Regional Finals: live, in-person April 7 at the University at Buffalo.

“SUNY Poly supports the promulgation of business knowledge and real-world entrepreneurship experience to enable the true potential of our students, as well as students from throughout the Mohawk Valley, as we host the NYBPC Mohawk Valley semifinal competition,” said SUNY Polytechnic Institute College of Business Dean Dr. Arthur Lu. “For many students, this is an exciting opportunity to showcase their business acumen through their unique product and service pitches, reflecting the culmination of their hands-on learning they gain at SUNY Poly and at other colleges, and allowing them to network, grow, and envision how their idea might one day be commercialized.”

“Acting as the lead organization, in collaboration with Hartwick College, for the Mohawk Valley semifinal competition once again, we are truly proud to facilitate this unique entrepreneurship experience which pushes students to consider how they might address challenges our society faces with their unique solutions,” said SUNY Poly Professor of Technology Management Dr. Robert Edgell. “This event features more than the opportunity to pitch an idea though—it offers prize incentives, the chance to network with other like-minded students as well as seasoned entrepreneurs, in addition to being provided feedback from judges that can help to further refine their pitch so they can continue to work toward successful outcomes that benefit our region, New York State, and beyond.”

According to NYBPC organizers, since 2010, the NYBPC has helped to launch more than 100 student-led ventures and generated more than $150 million in economic impact.

More information regarding the 2023 New York Business Plan Competition, including details about each regional competition and how to apply can be found at: The Upstate Capital Association of New York State is the NYBPC’s leading organization, and the initiative is supported by philanthropists and corporate sponsors, alongside 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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