Statewide Competition Overview

The New York Business Plan Competition is a venture creation and innovation competition that was established in 2009 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout New York’s colleges and universities. The 10 major regions of New York hold regional competitions prior to the finals:

  • Capital Region
  • Central New York
  • North Country
  • Mohawk Valley
  • Finger Lakes
  • Western New York
  • Southern Tier
  • Mid-Hudson
  • New York City
  • Long Island

The top teams from each of the regional zones will advance to the final statewide competition where the teams will go head-to-head for cash and in-kind prizes.

The University of Rochester is committed to providing inclusive experiences and equal access to programs and services. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the access provided, please contact In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations.

Eligibility & Rules

  • All applications must be submitted online. Part one of the application consists of the online form and will determine your eligibility.
  • In part two, you will be required to upload a maximum 1-page PDF executive summary, a slide deck in PPTX format, and a 6-8 minute video. Additional information on these requirements can be found here.
  • Teams must consist of graduate, undergraduate, and/or community college students enrolled in an accredited New York colleges and universities during the academic year. Students who graduate during the Fall semester are still eligible to compete in the competition during the Spring semester. All students are eligible, including exchange students.
  • Student(s) must be the presenter(s) in all stages of the competition.
  • Teams may compete in only one region per year and students may not participate on more than one team per year.
  • Grand prize winners from previous years’ competitions are no longer eligible to participate in the competition. Individual members of the winning team may return with new teams in subsequent years.
  •  Judges and regional organizers reserve the right to relocate entries into another category that fits the business idea.

For teams with incorporated ventures:

  • Cumulative public and private capital raised may not exceed $100,000. (This does not include research funding that may have supported the development of the technology in an academic laboratory.)
  • For business ventures that are incorporated, they must be majority student-owned (more than 50%). For teams that are unincorporated, the majority of contributions need to come from students, such that should an organization become incorporated, the organization would be majority student-owned.

Read the 2023 NYBPC Rulebook for a complete description of the eligibility and guidelines for the competition.

Regional Contest Overview

Currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students from accredited New York colleges and universities in the Finger Lakes Region are encouraged to submit the online application around a student-born innovation that is designed for a currently unmet need. The Regional Contest and Statewide Final Competition do not require the submission of a full business plan. All applications must be submitted online.

After a Preliminary Judging round, selected regional contest semi-finalists will be invited to give a 6 to 8-minute presentation followed by 6 minutes of Q&A from a panel of regional judges.

The semi-finalist presentation round is a free event open to the public – teams are encouraged to invite friends and faculty! The top two teams from each category (for a total of up to 12 teams from the Finger Lakes region) will be selected to participate in the Statewide Competition where they will compete against finalists from the other nine regions in New York. The judges reserve the right to select less than 12 teams from the Finger Lakes region based on the quality of the entries and presentations.

Statewide Competition finalists will be required to give a 6 to 8-minute presentation followed by 6 minutes of Q&A from a panel of statewide judges. Winners of the cash prizes will be announced on the day of the Statewide Competition.


Regional Sponsors

Interested in sponsoring the Finger Lakes Regional Contest? Contact Ain Center staff at


2023 Rulebook - View PDF
2022-23 Judging Rubric - View PDF
2023 NYBPC Workshop - All Questions Answered View Video
What to Expect When Filling Out the Application - View PDF
Executive Summary Template - View PDF
NYBPC Presentation Suggestions - View Slide Deck

Example Presentations:

Photonect (2022 Grand Prize) - View Video
Step2,3 LLC (2022 GRYT Health Award) - View Video
Bio-Spire (2022 1st Place Track Winner) - View Video


Consider the following points (more guiding questions can also be found in the 2023 NYBPC Rulebook).

  • What is the structure of your company?
  • What is your company’s key value proposition?
  • What is your business model?
  • Who is your competition?
  • How is your venture sustainable?
  • What market and market segments are you targeting?
  • What are the key market barriers?
  • Who are the specific customers that you are pursuing/will pursue?

Judges will evaluate:

  • Market Opportunity
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Management Capability
  • Financial Understanding
  • Roadmap/Growth Strategy
  • Sustainable Business Model

Track Definition

On the application form, teams will be asked to select industry verticals that align with their business venture. Once their application is submitted, statewide organizers will assign each team to the appropriate track.

2023 New York Business Plan Competition

Grand Prize

  • RHM Innovations Inc. – University at Buffalo and University of Rochester: Courtney Burris, Brandon Davis Burris

Health & Well Being

  • First Place and Community Founder Award- RHM Innovations Inc. – University at Buffalo and University of Rochester: Courtney Burris, Brandon Davis Burris

Learn, Work & Play

  • Third Place – CoPivot – Rochester Institute of Technology: Carolyn Spencer

2022 New York Business Plan Competition

Grand Prize

  • Photonect – University of Rochester: Juniyali Nauriyal and Sushant Kumar

Food & Ag Tech

  • Second Place – Veggie Bites – SUNY Geneseo: Carly McGrath, Tiffany Min, Alec Wolfe, Justin Colleran

Health & Well Being

  • First Place – BioSpire – University of Rochester: Tiana Salomon, Amanda Adams, Tracy Moyston, Anca Frasineau, Jingyi Yan

Products & Hardware

  • First Place – Photonect – University of Rochester: Juniyali Nauriyal and Sushant Kumar

Safety, Power & Mobility

  • Third Place – LI Revive – Rochester Institute of Technology: Jacob Marinelli, Matthew Marinelli

Media, Art & Entertainment

  • Second Place – SWIPS – Rochester Institute of Technology: Joseph Ruggieri, Christopher Schindelar, WeiBin Yang

Software & Services

  • Third Place – J Docs – Rochester Institute of Technology: Jake Downie, Artem Goncharov, Isaac Prusky

2021 New York Business Plan Competition

Education & Well-Being

  • Third Place – KaleidoscopeMERochester Institute of Technology: Liza Savage-Katz, Miki Mian, Ethan Hancock

MedTech & Life Sciences

  • Second Place – WetWare Biosystems – University of Rochester: Andrew Kaseman, Bradley Smith

Software & Services

  • Third Place – Yolo Shadow – University of Rochester: Yiyan Chen, Tianyue Wang

2020 New York Business Plan Competition

AgTech & Food Category

  • Third Place – NextHopsRochester Institute of Technology: Max Baron, Corey Reppert, Samuel Tillinghast

Consumer Products & Services Category

  • Concept Stage Award – Scentablez – Rochester Institute of Technology: Samuel Oribamise, Namaqua Mills, Adama Cisse

Military & First Responder Category

  • Second Place – WetWare BioSystems – University of Rochester: Andrew Kaseman, Bradley Smith
  • MWBE Award – Emeritus Fire Gear – Hobart & William Smith Colleges: Nicole Wright

2019 New York Business Plan Competition

AgTech & Food Category

  • Third Place – Ponic HopsSUNY Geneseo: Jeff Calderon, Mary Higgins, Rebecca Hoppy, Dillon Szmala
  • Concept Stage Award – Ponic HopsSUNY Geneseo: Jeff Calderon, Mary Higgins, Rebecca Hoppy, Dillon Szmala

Energy & Environment Category

  • Concept Stage Award – Zalara – SUNY Geneseo: Megan Avenia, Walter Dylag, Hilda Gomez, Auste Norvila, Alis Urena

Med-Tech & Well-Being Category

  • First Place – Successful Heart Solutions – ($10,000 cash) University of Rochester: Vincent Constantino, Joseph Geiger, Yangyang Shao, Jonathan Yakubov
  • Second Place – StrongBrain – ($2,500 cash) University of Rochester: Max Sims

2018 New York Business Plan Competition

Advanced Technology

  • First Place – Volt-Air Technologies – ($10,000 cash) SUNY Geneseo: Raihan Hossain, Adam Malachowski, Rafael Ziotto, Jayesh Patil, Jacob Horowitz

IT & Software Category

  • Third Place – ClockWyse – ($1,000 cash) Rochester Institute of Technology: Tyler Krupicka, Ketan Reddy, Jeremiah Zucker

Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit Category

  • First Place – Humans for Education – ($10,000 cash) University of Rochester: Daphne Pariser, Ninoshka Fernandes, Chadia Bedetse
  • KeyBank MWBE Excellence Award – Hive Uni Rochester Institute of Technology: Adolf Akuffo-Afful

2017 New York Business Plan Competition

NYSERDA Clean Technology Category

  • Second Place – Verdimine – ($5,000 cash) SUNY Geneseo: Christopher Callery, Christian D’Angelo, Franceska Hassanj, Austin Lamb, Caroline Wilson
  • Third Place – Chalaza Technologies – ($1,500 cash) University of Rochester: Sean Humesky, Lei Liao, Kris Page, Brianna Rockwell
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award – Team Meliora University of Rochester: Edgar Alaniz, Carlos Yuki Gonzales, Ibrahim Muhammad, Omar Soufan

Advanced Technology

  • Undergraduate Excellence Award – Gaia Rochester Institute of Technology: Brent Chase

Products Category

  • First Place – OWA Haircare – ($10,000 cash) Rochester Institute of Technology: Kailey Bradt
  • Esprit de Corps Award –Budamundi Lifestyle SUNY Geneseo: Callen Gross, Rachel Chou, Kevin Wright, Sarah Jane Phillips

Services Category

  • First Place – IIID – ($10,000 cash) Syracuse University and Rochester Institute of Technology

Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit Category

  • Third Place – Artemis – ($1,500 cash) University of Rochester: Kat Cook, Fahria Omar, Sarah Spoto
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award – StandUp Leadership SUNY Geneseo: Brandon Gaylord, Molly Downey, Lauren Ladeairous, Colleen Steward, Sofia Villalon

2016 New York Business Plan Competition

Energy/Sustainability Category

  • Second Place – Phoenix Pioneer Products – ($5,000 cash) SUNY Geneseo: Joe Chapman, Joseph Potischman, Tyler Short, Ben Stanley
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award – Hyper-Dry SUNY Geneseo: Peter Borglum, Erica Kosmerl, Marcos Perez, Gabriel Ponce, Brian Rybak
  • People’s Choice Award – Cargo Cabin – ($500 cash) University of Rochester: Jason Bramwell, Andrew Heiligman, Jenae Pitts, Leketa Wesley

Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology

  • Second Place – NullSpace VR – ($5,000 cash) University of Rochester: Jordan Brooks, Lucian Copeland, Morgan Sinko
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award – Ballhawk SUNY Geneseo: Jessica Bourdage, Josh Fiegel, Jonathan Freedberg, Ryan Lantry

Products/Services Category

  • Second Place – Wavio – ($5,000 cash) Rochester Institute of Technology: Zachary Baltzer, Nicholas Lamb, Chrystal Schlenker, Greyson Watkins

Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit Category

  • First Place – Oasis Foods – ($10,000 cash) University at Rochester: Kat Cook, Fahria Omar, Sarah Spoto
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award – Five North SUNY Geneseo: Sydney Aspenleiter, Rebecca Caracciolo, Benjamin Conrad, Sean Delles, Kristen Melfi

2015 New York Business Plan Competition

Biotechnology/Healthcare Category

  • First Place – TrainSmart – ($10,000 cash) SUNY Geneseo: Logan Calvey, David Morris, Brett Turner, Susanna Huang

Energy/Sustainability Category

  • Undergraduate Excellence Award – TerraPellets SUNY Geneseo: Dominic Morell, Mizuki Arai, Ishtyaq Habib, Brandon Mark

Information Technology/Software Category

  • Third Place – VISOWORLD – ($1,500 cash) SUNY Geneseo: Luciano Scala, Scott Chauncey

Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology

  • People’s Choice Award – CLambda – ($500 cash) University of Rochester: Seth Reining, Anthony Yee, Xiangzhi Yu, Yang Zhao
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award – Obiex SUNY Geneseo: Sarah Ulrich, Karynil Perez, Andrei Poblaguev, Mauricio Carniero

Products/Services Category

  • People’s Choice Award – QuickStix – ($500 cash) Hobart and William Smith Colleges: Greg Hunt
  • Esprit de Corps Award – Ashley Parrington Co. SUNY Geneseo: Ashley Parrington, Cindy Cole, Nate Joseph, Megan Swartz

Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit Category

  • Third Place – Cataract Innovations – ($1,500 cash) University at Rochester: Brian Ayers, Eryn Fennig, Sarah Walters
  • People’s Choice Award – The Rochester River Foundation – ($500 cash) Hobart and William Smith Colleges: Jericsson Pichardo

2014 New York Business Plan Competition

Biotechnology/Healthcare Category

  • Ovitz – 2nd Place in Category Statewide Finals ($5,000 cash) University of Rochester: Felix Kim, Samuel Steven, Pedro Vallejo-Ramirez, Len Zheleznyak
  • SmartDialysis – Rookie of the Year Award Statewide Finals University of Rochester: Li Deng, Steven Gillmer, Kenny Goodfellow, Christopher Wong, Aizhong Zhang, Bowei Zhang

Energy/Sustainability Category

  • Plastofuel – Advanced from Regional Contest to Statewide Finals Geneseo: Scott Chauncey, Matthew Dobjeleski, Michael Hartman, Carly Lauricella, Matthew Lawrence, Jon Owejan
  • Precision Watercraft Enterprises – Advanced from Regional Contest to Statewide Finals RIT: Mike Buffalin, Jordan Darling

Information Technology/Software Category

  • Skooloko – Advanced from Regional Contest to Statewide Finals Geneseo: Toyese Adeyeye, Oyin Akindele, Madison Rittenhouse, Olivia Sluzar, Sewedo Whenu, Nathan Wilson
  • TygerIndustries – Advanced from Regional Contest to Statewide Finals RIT: Aleks Litynski, Jared Mistretta, Sophie Song

Products/Services Category

  • Just Dangle Hockey – Crowd’s Pick Award Statewide Finals St. John Fisher: Matthew Keeler, Nathan Woods
  • VisoWorld – Advanced from Regional Contest to Statewide Finals Geneseo: Casey McCormack, Michael Melohusky, Luciano Scala

Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit Category

  • Batavia Loop Trail – Team Spirit Award Statewide Finals Genesee Community College: Tara Beckens, Danielle Cannella, Richard DelPlato, Adrienne Payne, Maryssa Peirick
  • Imagine Soap – 1st Place in Category Statewide Finals ($10,000 cash) RIT: Rahul Gadre, Brendan Gordon

2013 New York Business Plan Competition

Biotechnology/Healthcare Category

  • TrakOR – 3rd Place in Category in Statewide Finals ($1,500 cash) TrakOr is making a more accurate electronic tracking system to replace pencil and paper tracking systems for intravenous (IV) drugs.
    W. Spencer Klubben ’13, Ankit Medhekar ’13, Michael Nolan ’13, Sonja Page ’13, Matt Plakosh ’13, and Erin Schnellinger ’13
  • Health Care Originals, LLC – Advanced from Regional Contest to Statewide Finals Health Care Originals is developing a patent-pending app to keep track of asthma attacks and upload daily data for review.
    Prinson Dsouza ’14 (MS), Ran Gao ’13 (MS), ChenChen Qu ’13 (MS), and Sharon Samjitsingh ’13 (MS)

Information Technology/Software Category

  • MedThru ICT – Advanced from Regional Contest to Statewide Finals MedThru ICT is developing an integrated scheduling and communication system that facilitates the processes involved in adding unforeseen medical procedures to a day’s schedule. Sarah Catheline ’13 (MS), Nirish Kafle ’14 (MS), Nick Lewandowsk ’13 (MS), and Alvin Lomibao ’09 (BS), ’13 (MS)

Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology Category

  • SMP Microstamps – 2nd Place in Category in Statewide Finals ($5,000 cash) SMP Microstamps had created an integrated platform for micro-contact printing applications with a stamp material with highly tunable surface properties. Megan DeWitt ’13 (MS), Andrew Durney ’16 (PhD), Will Finnie ’13 (MS), and Kwaku Owusu ’13 (MBA)
  • Formation 3D – Advanced from Regional Contest to Statewide Finals Formation 3D is making 3D printers accessible to home users. Alex Feiszli ’14, Eric Frank ’13, and Steven Trambert ’13

Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit Category

  • Sound ExChange – 2nd Place in Category in Statewide Finals ($5,000 cash) SoundExchange is developing alternative ways to listen to orchestral music. Emily Wozniak ’14 (MM)

Example Presentations:
NYBPC Website


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