Take your idea to the next step and participate in campus, community, state and national competitions

team work

Are you working on a good idea?  Test and pitch at the many campus, community, state and national competitions this 2019-2020 academic year.  The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at SU Libraries can help you shape your idea, sharpen your business model, and identify a path to market.  We’ve made it even easier through a common application now open on line.  Applications require a one page executive summary of a venture idea.  along with some basic venture idea information.  The LaunchPad team will then work with you to help fashion your roadmap.

For news about all competitions, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @LaunchPadSYR and subscribe to our e-news by e-mailing us LaunchPad@syr.edu

Scheduled competitions include:

  • ‘Cuse Tank: Applications due October 4, 2019; competition October 18, 2019. Open to Syracuse University undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines, who are working on developing new products, services or technologies in all categories, both for-profit, and nonprofit ventures.  Apply at link above.
  • Whitman Orange Tank: Applications due October 1: competition October 24, 2019 in NYC.  Open to undergraduate, graduate or alumni teams with Whitman founders.  https://launchpad.syr.edu/whitmans-orange-tank-will-be-in-nyc-october-24-apply-now/
  • Student Startup Madness: Applications open through the fall semester; semi-finalists announced in mid-January. Competition the week of March 15-22 at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. Open to college student teams with digital media startups.  https://studentstartupmadness.com/
  • EO GSEA (Global Student Entrepreneur Awards): Applications due October 16, 2019; regionals in Buffalo, New York, Nov. 13, 2019. Open to undergraduate and graduate students who are founders or controlling shareholders, either ‘for-profit’ or social enterprise.  https://launchpad.syr.edu/2019-2020-gsea-awards/
  • Impact Prize: Applications due November 1, 2019; competition November 14, 2019. Open to Syracuse University students and SUNY ESF undergraduate and graduate students taking entrepreneurship courses at SU working on ventures that create a social impact (such as energy, environment, employment, education and training, health and mental health, community and social networks, social inclusion, poverty and literacy, youth empowerment, food, sustainability, access, and ventures that support important public policy goals).  Apply at link above.
  • Panasci Business Plan Competition: Applications due January 2020; competition April 10-11, 2020 (tentative). Open to graduate and undergraduate students.  Check for details on Martin J. Whitman School of Management website.
  • ACC In Venture Prize: Applications due Feb. 7, 2020; competition Feb. 21, 2020. Open to undergraduate students or recent graduates of ACC universities within one year of graduation from their undergraduate program.  This is a prize competition that pits top inventors of the ACC network against each other at a live PBS-televised event in April 2020 at NC State University in Raleigh.  Apply at link above.
  • Hult Prize Regionals: Competition November 22, 2019; regional teams announced January 2020. Open to undergraduate students.  Each year the competition announces a theme.  Watch for details and application deadline on the LaunchPad website and social channels.
  • Compete CNY: Applications due March 13, 2020; competition March 27, 2020. Open to undergraduate and graduate students for all colleges and universities in the Central New York Region.  This is the regional qualifier for the New York State Business Plan Competition on April 24, 2020 in Albany, with categories announced by event organizers.  Last year’s categories were:  Agtech and Food; Energy and Environment; Military and First Responders; Medtech and Well-being; Technology and Entertainment; Consumer Products and Services.  Check for updated details at the LaunchPad website.
  • Raymond von Dran iPrize: Applications due March 13, 2020; competition March 27, 2020. Open to all graduate and undergraduate students working on venture ideas for products, services, technologies and social impact ventures.  A pitch workshop will be held on March 6, 2020 in the LaunchPad.  Apply at link above.
  • Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award: Applications due March 13, 2020; competition March 27, 2020. Open to undergraduate and graduate students at Syracuse competing in the iPrize.  Apply at link above.
  • New York Business Plan Competition: Regional teams will be selected at the Compete CNY qualifier.  Competition is April 24, 2020 in Albany, New York. Open to all undergraduate and graduate students at New York State Universities.  Check for updated details at the LaunchPad website.

Business plan competitions provide critical early stage seed funding to student ventures to work on customer discovery, prototypes, business incorporation and patents, as well as other product and business development needs on the road from concept to commercialization.

The LaunchPad team, mentors, and professional service providers are available to help develop investment-ready business models, create more competitive pitches, and coach teams on the art of successful pitching.

To learn more about the competitions, get details on the schedule, or schedule coaching sessions with LaunchPad EIRs and The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors, email launchpad@syr.edu.