4/25/2014 8:29:31 PM

SUNY CNSE Student-Led Team Glauconix Wins $100,000 Grand Prize at the 2014 New York Business Plan Competition

Five teams claim $10,000 first place prizes out of the more than 560 teams competing from across New York State

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Albany, NY – Supporting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s blueprint for an entrepreneurial ecosystem across New York State, the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), in partnership with Title Sponsors SEFCU and the State University of New York (SUNY), today announced that Glauconix, a student-led team from the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, claimed the $100,000 New York Business Plan Competition grand prize. The winning students competed against more than 92 teams - representing 36 colleges and universities - in the final round of the 5th annual event, held on April 25 at CNSE.

In addition to the grand prize-winning team which took first place in the Biotechnology/Healthcare track, five other 1st place finishing teams each took home $10,000 within their respective categories: Goodlight LLC from CNSE for Energy/Sustainability; Kettleshell from Ithaca College for Products/Services; Resumazing from RPI for Information Technology/Software; Adept Advancements from RPI for Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology; and Imajine Soap from Rochester Institute of Technology for Social/Non-profit.

A total of 560 student-led startups from 62 colleges and universities pitched their business plans for innovations in a variety of sectors that are growing New York State’s advanced economy, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and clean energy, among others. The 2014 competition was the largest yet, with an unprecedented number of competitors representing all 10 of the state’s economic development regions, as defined by Governor Cuomo’s Regional Development Councils that were created to expand economic opportunities throughout the Empire State.

Title Sponsors SEFCU and SUNY provided generous support for the competition, which was presented collaboratively by CNSE, UAlbany’s School of Business, and Syracuse University. A panel of national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and seasoned entrepreneurs chose the winning teams.

“SEFCU is proud to partner with the State University of New York, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), University at Albany’s School of Business, Syracuse University, and more than a dozen distinguished corporate partners to present the New York Business Plan Competition to encourage student entrepreneurs to follow their dreams of bringing a product to market by pitching real business plans to investors,” said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU President and CEO. “This innovative program encourages entrepreneurship and helps to retain some of our best and brightest students along with their businesses right here in New York, the capital of commerce,” Castellana added.

“SUNY is thrilled to support New York’s top-tier college students through this powerful partnership with our educational and business partners, providing an unmatched entrepreneurial experience,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “This unique competition offers incredible opportunities for hundreds of students who are able to interact and potentially build a relationship with investors, venture capitalists, and sophisticated business leaders who are enabling the next generation of business growth in New York State.”

“This unparalleled competition is a testament to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vision that is enabling educational opportunities and business expansion throughout New York State,” said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, CNSE VP of Entrepreneurship Innovation and Clean Energy Programs and Professor and Head of Nanoeconomics. “With support from Title Sponsors SEFCU and SUNY, the New York Business Plan Competition encourages student growth and entrepreneurial achievement by rewarding the disruptive business concepts that will drive progress and provide future career opportunities right here in New York. It has been thrilling to see this competition grow from a dozen teams competing for nearly $30,000 in prizes in 2010 to one of the largest student business competitions in the country, with more than 500 teams reaching for over $500,000 in prizes that were offered this year.”

Glauconix, led by CNSE students Karen Torrejon and Rajan Kumar in addition to Feryan Ahmed and Colby Creedon, received the $100,000 grand prize to support further development of their novel technology that allows for the creation and utilization of a realistic eye tissue for more effective drug screening to help prevent and treat glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

“Student entrepreneurship is of the utmost importance for the future of New York State, and the New York Business Plan Competition is the perfect complement to the School of Business’s award-winning SEED Program, our Young Entrepreneur's Academy, and new educational programs in entrepreneurship. Additionally, the competition dovetails nicely with the new $64 million School of Business Building, which opened in late 2013 to promote business growth at the university,” said UAlbany School of Business Dean Donald S. Siegel. “I applaud our partners, CNSE and Syracuse University, and Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, who received his BS and MBA from the School of Business and serves on the School of Business Advisory Council, for his continuing support of this exciting competition as a title sponsor. I am also thankful for the Research Foundation and SUNY as their work once again provided major financial support for this event.”

“Syracuse University is honored once more to partner with the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering as well as the University at Albany’s School of Business to support the success of the 2014 New York Business Plan Competition, an event that provides unmatched opportunities for New York’s young entrepreneurs,” said Stacey Keefe, Executive Director of the Raymond von Dran Innovation and Disruptive Entrepreneurship Accelerator (RvD IDEA) at Syracuse University. “Put simply, this unique and inspiring competition gives students access to a rigorous real-life business experience that prepares them well for business success.”

Teams from the following colleges and universities participated in the final round of the competition: Bard College, Binghamton University, Clarkson University, Clinton Community College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Culinary Institute of America, Farmingdale State College, Genesee Community College, Hamilton College, Ithaca College, Jefferson Community College, Long Island University, Marist College, New York Institute of Technology, New York University, Niagara University, Queensborough Community College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Skidmore College, St. Bonaventure University, St. John Fisher College, Stony Brook University, SUNY Broome, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Orange, SUNYIT, Syracuse University, University at Albany, University at Buffalo, University of Rochester, and Utica College.

Winners of the 2014 New York Business Plan Competition by category and track are as follows:

Grand Prize

·       Glauconix, CNSE


First Place

  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Glauconix, CNSE
  • Energy/Sustainability – Goodlight LLC, CNSE
  • Information Technology/Software – Resumazing, RPI
  • Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology – Adept Advancements, RPI
  • Products/Services – Kettleshell, Ithaca College
  • Social/Non-Profit – Imajine Soap, Rochester Institute of Technology


Team Spirit Award

  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – ElectroChem Tracking, Syracuse University
  • Energy/Sustainability – Maji Moto, Clarkson University
  • Information Technology/Software – PromoFlash LLC, Marist College
  • Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology – Deuell Automated Machines, Clarkson University
  • Products/Services – Ambizione LLC, Clarkson University
  • Social/Non-Profit – Batavia Loop Trail, Genesee Community College


Rookie of the Year

  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – SmartDialysis, University of Rochester
  • Energy/Sustainability – Evolv Composting LLC, Skidmore College
  • Information Technology/Software – TOCK, Syracuse University
  • Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology – EMVISS, University at Buffalo
  • Products/Services – The Pet Pita, Clarkson University
  • Social/Non-Profit – Advlo, Syracuse University


People’s Choice Award

  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Life Tech, Marist College
  • Energy/Sustainability – Steam Engine Technologies, Clarkson University
  • Information Technology/Software – SellYourTech, Hamilton College
  • Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology – NanoTechnostics Inc., Stony Brook University
  • Products/Services – Just Dangle Hockey, St. John Fisher College
  • Social/Non-Profit – Outland Manufacturing, Clarkson University


Third Place

  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – MosquitoesBeGone!, Stony Brook University
  • Energy/Sustainability – Lionano, Cornell University
  • Information Technology/Software – Tunetap, Cornell University
  • Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology – Titan Nanotech, CNSE
  • Products/Services – Royal Meadery, SUNY Cobleskill
  • Social/Non-Profit – Open Campus, Skidmore College


Second Place

  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Ovitz, University of Rochester
  • Energy/Sustainability – Hybridry, Broome Community College
  • Information Technology/Software – Speare, Cornell University
  • Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology – Renoun Ski Company, Clarkson University
  • Products/Services – Golden Gear, Products/Services
  • Social/Non-Profit – Kreyòl Essence, Cornell University


About SUNY CNSE. The SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is the world leader in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics. CNSE represents the world’s most advanced university-driven research enterprise, with more than $20 billion in high-tech investments and over 300 corporate partners. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 3,100 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, and faculty. CNSE maintains a statewide footprint, operating the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester, and the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua. CNSE co-founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at SUNYIT and is lead developer of the Marcy Nanocenter site in Utica, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Complex, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information, visit


Media Contact:

Jerry Gretzinger, CNSE VP of Strategic Communications and Public Relations
(518) 956-7359 |