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 (Capital Region, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Long Island) hold regional competitions each year. The top teams from each of the regional zones have the chance to earn cash prizes.

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 written application around a student-born innovation that is designed for a currently unmet need. The Regional Contest does not require the submission of a full business plan. All applications must be submitted online (click “Apply” button to the right).  The deadline to enter the 2018 Competition has passed (March 11th, 2018).

Applications should be no longer than two (2) typed pages. Please be as brief as possible, while still providing the necessary information.

Submissions must fall under one of the following six categories:

  • Information Technology / Software
  • Social Entrepreneurship / Non-Profit
  • Clean Technology
  • Advanced Technology
  • Products
  • Services

Regional Contest finalists will be invited to give a 10-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes of Q&A from a panel of regional judges in April. This is a free event that is open to the public and teams are encouraged to invite friends and faculty. Winners of the prizes will be announced on the day of the competition.

Regional Sponsors

Interested in sponsoring the Finger Lakes Regional Contest? Contact Matthew Spielmann, Senior Program Manager.

Category Definitions

Information Technology/Software

  • Any idea, technology, product, and/or service that relates to apps, informational technology,software, and/or internet applications in for profit enterprises. If the value that your idea or technology provided lies in the creation of or is delivered through an app, then you belong in this category.
  • Examples: An app that helps pairs potential roommates, a website/app that uses social media to collect payments from friends, a web service designed to tailor resumes for specific jobs, a file sharing service, an app or website that aggregates data and reviews about solar panel installers.

Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit

  • Any idea, product, and/or service that addresses a social need, for which profit is not the primary motivation, or provides a product/service for nonprofits. If formed, the venture would be either a Benefit corporation or be eligible for 501(c) status.
  • Examples: Selling a good or service that raises awareness and donates significant portion of the revenues to a cause, organization that provides financial literacy training, cooperative non-profit coffee shop, bike trail, a website to connect community members with volunteer opportunities.

Clean Technology

  • Any idea, technology, process, product, and/or service that relates to energy, clean energy,renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental, and/or sustainability applications.
  • Examples: Recycling technology, LED manufacturing technology, lithium ion batteries, clean energy crowd funding service, composting subscription service.

Advanced Technology

  • Any idea, technology, product, and/or service that relates to materials science, life science, advanced hardware, semiconductors, optics, and/or electronics applications that are not applicable to Clean technology. These products and processes have been likely developed after years of laboratory research and have patent protection.
  • Examples: High-performance skis coated with nanomaterial, vibration detector, new method for testing pharmaceuticals, physical therapy massager.


  • Any physical, tangible goods offered for sale.
  • Examples: Custom designer eyewear, vending machine, protein shakes, craft beer or alcoholic beverages, innovative water bottle, locally sourced tea, camera backpack.


  • A value add process for delivering products of fulfilling customer needs
  • Examples: Lice removal company, meal delivery, custom clothing design, custom song writing service.

Eligibility & Rules

    • Teams must consist entirely of graduate, undergraduate, and/or community college students enrolled in an accredited New York colleges and universities during the academic year.
    • Consist of one (1) to a maximum of six (6) members, excluding the advisor
    • A faculty or staff member is required to be listed as an advisor for the team; offering guidance, support, and technical expertise
    • Students may not participate on more than one (1) team each year of the competition
    • Each entry must be submitted to only one (1) of the six (6) categories, i.e. the same entry cannot be submitted to multiple categories (if the entry overlaps multiple categories, the team must choose one category to compete in based on the Category / Track Definitions provided).
    • Applications should be no longer than two (2) typed pages. Please be as brief as possible, while still providing the necessary information.
    • If the value added created by the product requires an app, website, or software program, then the idea should be classified under IT/Software.
    • The judges reserve the right to move entries into another category that fits the business idea.
    • 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.
    • Student ownership of the venture must be 100%.
    • 2018 NYBPC Rule Book 


Past NYBPC Presentations - Watch


The categories with the most entries in the 2017 Finger Lakes Regional Contest were as follows (from the most to the least):

  • Information Technology / Software: 37%
  • Products: 36%
  • Clean Technology: 11%
  • Services: 10%
  • Social Entrepreneurship / Non-Profit: 5%
  • Advanced Technology: 1%

The judges will especially look for/at:

  • Compelling Idea / Venture
  • Founders and Team
  • Pitch Quality

Schedule of Events

Apr 26

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 FinalsRIT: 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)

Presentation Events

Apr 26

Need an Idea?

Contact UR Ventures. UR Ventures has several interesting and viable patents that can be used as the basis of a business idea.


Contact Matthew Spielmann, Senior Program Manager.