March 16, 2011

UAlbany Nanocollege To Host Expanded Business Plan Competition For Students

By: by Steve Janack, CNSE Vice President for Marketing and Communications


Albany, NY - Expanding eligibility to college students from across the state, while offering additional categories and enhanced cash prizes, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany, in partnership with UAlbany's School of Business, the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, and Union Graduate College School of Management today announced plans for the second annual New York State Business Plan Competition, to be held Thursday, April 28 at the UAlbany NanoCollege.

Students from accredited colleges throughout New York are invited to submit business plans for a student-born innovation that addresses a currently unmet need. Students from diverse academic areas are encouraged to work together to create a multi-disciplinary approach to their research and business proposals, as a means of providing valuable experience in presenting their business plans to industry executives and investors.

This year, the competition is expanding from a single topical area to multiple tracks in which students can compete, including nanotechnology, healthcare, information technology, clean energy, and non-profit, among others. Cash prizes totaling more than $100,000 are available, made possible by title sponsor SEFCU, as well as in-kind services provided by organizations around the state.

"The UAlbany NanoCollege is delighted to host the second annual New York State Business Plan Competition, which is developing into a premier platform for identifying, nurturing and showcasing entrepreneurial talent," said Pradeep Haldar, CNSE Professor and Head of NanoEconomics. "The competition promotes an integrated and interdisciplinary learning experience that supports academic and research excellence, while instilling the critical importance of translating innovative ideas into practical and pragmatic business opportunities. We appreciate the support of SEFCU as this year's Title Sponsor, and look forward to a great event."

UAlbany School of Business Dean Donald S. Siegel said, "The New York State Business Plan Competition serves as a focal point for our recent efforts to promote student entrepreneurship, and to use our new School of Business Building as the catalyst for effective commercialization of ideas and intellectual property developed at the university. I also applaud 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 supporting this important competition as title sponsor."

Professor Gina O'Connor, Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, said, "The New York State Business Plan Competition offers students a unique opportunity to develop business plans that will help them transition virtual products and services into real-world businesses. We are eager to entertain a broad group of ideas turned into strategic plans, and to see firsthand their potential to transform innovations into many different industries."

Last year's first-ever competition was won by BESS Technologies for its next-generation battery storage technology. The company was founded by CNSE students Brian Butcher, Ph.D. candidate in Nanoengineering/Nanoeconomics, and Ben Backes, Jae Ho Lee and Isaac Lund, Ph.D. candidates in Nanoengineering, along with UAlbany School of Business MBA graduate Robert Hymes.

The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, March 25 at 5 p.m. For more information,