University to host state-qualifying entrepreneurship competition

The University will host a student entrepreneurship pitch competition on April 14 for teams interested in qualifying for the upcoming New York Business Plan Competition. The Syracuse event, which will take place at 4 p.m. in the Blackstone Student LaunchPad at Bird Library, will determine which student teams from the state’s Central Region will go on to compete in the statewide competition April 29.

In addition to determining qualifiers for the statewide event, the Syracuse competition will award a total of $60,000 in prize money to winning applicants in six categories, with the money to be distributed based on category popularity. Teams are eligible for up to $10,000 in prize money.

The categories, which mirror the category structure for the state competition, are:

  • Information Technology/Software
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare
  • Nanoscience/Advanced Technology
  • Energy/Sustainability
  • Products/Services
  • Social Entrepreneurship/Nonprofit

Student teams interested in competing must apply by April 5. From those applicants, a pool of finalists will be selected based on established criteria from past state selections. At the April 14 pitch competition, those finalists will have five minutes to pitch their ideas before a panel of judges and another five minutes to respond to judges’ questions. Distinct judging panels will be designated for each category.

At the conclusion of the event, two Central New York representatives from each category will be selected to go on to the state competition. Prizes from the campus event will be awarded at the opening ceremony of the Blackstone Student LaunchPad.

As the regional qualifier for the state competition, the Syracuse event is open to student teams from Syracuse University as well as other Central New York colleges and universities. Interested applicants should apply via the Central Region New York State Application website here.

Persons interested in more information or in assisting as judges or in another volunteer capacity should contact John Liddy, director of the Student Sandbox at Syracuse University and coordinator for the Syracuse competition, at, or visit the competition website.

For more information on the statewide New York Business Plan competition, go to the competition website here.