January 19, 2016

New York Business Plan Competition: Advice

By: Dan Forbush

Source: Upstate Venture Connect

Upstate Venture Connect 

If the 2016 New York Business Plan Competition is anything like last year’s, we can expect more than 500 student teams to make pitches this April. Representing 70 colleges and universities, they’ll compete for $100,000 in cash prizes, including a $50,000 Grand Prize that will go to the overall winner in the final round on April 29 along with $50,000 in business services.

Last year’s winner of the New York Business Plan Competition, Uma Bioseed out of Cornell, entered the 43North incubator competition in Buffalo last October and came away with an additional $500,000. Launched by two Cornell students who were awarded their MBAs last spring, Uma Bioseed will produce a cost-effective seed coating solution with stabilized organic enzymes to battle viral, fungal and bacterial seed-borne pathogens. The solution can disinfect seeds as they germinate, so that more crops thrive from sown seeds, increasing yield and farm income.

Coordinating ten regional competitions and the April 29 final on its Albany campus, SUNY Polytechnic will enlist more than 200 investors to judge the competition over four weeks in April. One of them, Les Neumann, was the keynote speaker at a recent “Student Entrepreneurship Summit” hosted by SUNY Polytechnic. An entrepreneur and CEO of iCANny, an incubator focused on developing new businesses in clean tech, energy, and information technology, Neumann gave students an investor’s perspective on what makes a great pitch in the New York Business Plan Competition. The deadline to enter is March 25.

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