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About Us

The New York Business Plan Competition is a venture creation and innovation competition that was established in 2010 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout New York’s colleges and universities.


SUNY's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), in partnership with the University at Albany's School of Business, Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Union Graduate College School of Management organized a regional business plan competition with a focus on energy technology. In 2010, the inaugural event was held at CNSE's Albany Nanotech Complex—it was meant to encourage students to fully engage in their research and allow them to gain valuable experience through presenting their business plans to potential investors and industry executives.

The success of the 2010 event laid the groundwork for expanding the scope to include five additional categories and all students from accredited colleges and universities throughout New York. The total prizes available each year for competing teams has grown from $25,000 to currently more than $500,000, thanks in large part to the support of the program’s title sponsors, SEFCU and SUNY. In 2012, Syracuse University joined the founding institutions as an organizer of the New York Business Plan Competition. Additional colleges and universities have actively partnered with the competition, including Binghamton University, Canisius College, Clarkson University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Hudson Valley Community College, Ithaca College, Long Island University, Marist College, New York Institute of Technology, New York University, Pace University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Siena College, Skidmore College, Stony Brook University, SUNY Cortland, SUNY-ESF, SUNYIT, SUNY Levin Institute, SUNY Plattsburgh, University at Buffalo, and University of Rochester.

The scope of the New York Business Plan Competition was expanded once again in 2013 to feature the 10 Regional Economic Development Council zones of New York—Capital Region, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Long Island. Selected regional partner institutions host semifinal competitions in each of the regions every April. The top teams from each region advance to the statewide final competition where they go head-to-head for the grand prize at CNSE’s Albany Nanotech Complex.

The organizing institutions have grown the New York Business Plan Competition from a small, regional event into a statewide program with some of the largest awards and prizes of any business competition in the world. The New York Business Plan Competition is the only leading collegiate business competition that is a regionally coordinated, collaborative statewide program, setting it apart from all other competitions. It is one of the largest collegiate business competitions in the nation.

Since 2010, over 570 student teams from almost 60 of New York’s colleges and universities have pitched their ideas and ventures at the New York Business Plan Competition. The winners are selected each year by esteemed judges, including venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, other sophisticated public and private investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs. At the end of the 2013 competition, more than $800,000 in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded to student entrepreneurs in New York.

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