Competitions

Syracuse University teams have won more than $3.65 million in business plan competitions in the past three years, dominating regional, state and global competitions.


About Competitions

Syracuse University teams have won more than $3.65 million in business plan competitions in the past three years, dominating regional, state and global competitions. The LaunchPad at SU Libraries coordinates many of the campus qualifying competitions that lead up to these prestigious events.

Competitions provide critical early stage seed funding. This enables student ventures to work on customer discovery, prototypes, patents and business incorporation, plus business development and product needs, from concept to commercialization.

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Applications now open for many of these competitions. Click here to fill out the common application for 2021 - 2022 competions. 

Below, find information about business idea competitions for the academic year.

Don't yet have an executive summary? Find our Executive summary template, here.

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. Make an appointment for mentoring by e-mailing LaunchPad@syr.edu

Winners of Cuse Tank at Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars.
01
'Cuse Tank

Applications due October 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.;  competition October 8, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Bird Library. 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 using our common app here.

02
Founder's Cup

Applications due October 21, 2021 at 11:59 p.m;  competition October 29, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Bird Library. 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 using our common app here.

03
EO GSEA (Global Student Entrepreneur Awards)

Applications due October 20, 2021; regionals in Buffalo, New York on November 11, 2021. Open to undergraduate and graduate students who are business owners, founders or controlling shareholders, either ‘for-profit’ or social enterprise. Check for details and apply here.

04
Impact Prize

Applications due November 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.; competition November 12, 2021. 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 using our common app here.

05
OrangeTank

Sponsored by the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Key dates for Orange Tank 2021:  10/15:  First round executive summaries due; 10/21:   Finalists notified, with the top four teams selected in student and alumni categories; 11/4:  Final live event at Whitman, with the three teams in each division delivering an extended elevator pitch to finals judges with extended Q&A earlier in the day.  Alumni can be virtual and student presentations will be live. Winners will be announced at a reception and networking event at Whitman that  evening to announce the winners.    Learn more here.

06
Panasci Business Plan Competition

Sponsored by the Martin J. Whitman School of Management in the spring semester.  More info will be coming from Whitman soon.  Learn more here about this campus-wide student business plan competition, hosted by the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship, and made possible by long-time Whitman supporter, the late Henry A. Panasci, founder of Fay’s Drugs.

07
ACC In Venture Prize

Applications for campus competition due February 1, 2022 at 11:59pm; competition February 11, 2022 in Bird Library. Open to undergraduate students or recent graduates of ACC universities within one year of graduation from their undergraduate program. This competition pits top inventors of the ACC network against each other in a "Battle of the Brains" at a live PBS-televised event  at NC State University in Raleigh. The top SU team goes on to the ACC finals to compete head to head against other campus champions for $30,000 in prize packages. Apply here.

08
Compete CNY

Applications due March 18, 2022; competition March 25, 2022. 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 Business Plan Competition (NYBPC) on May 2021 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. Applications open in spring 20222 on the NYBPC website. 

09
Raymond von Dran iPrize

Applications due March 18, 2022; competition March 25, 2022 in Bird Library. Open to all Syracuse University and SUNY ESF graduate and undergraduate students working on venture ideas for products, services, technologies and social impact ventures. Students entering the $40,000 RvD iPrize are automatically entered into the Compete CNY regional qualifier for the New York Business Plan Competition.  Apply here.

10
Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award

Applications due March 18, 2022; competition March 25, 2022. Open to undergraduate and graduate students at Syracuse competing in the iPrize. This $10,000 competition runs concurrently with the RvD iPrize.  Four awards of $2,500 are awared to students who best exemplify "The Spirit of Entrepreneurship."  Prizes honor the memory of Hunter Brooks Watson, a SU student entrepreneur who died tragically in a distracted driving accident. Apply here.

11
New York Business Plan Competition

Top teams in the Compete CNY regional qualifier will go on the New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC) in Albany, New York.  The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students at New York State colleges and universities across New York State's ten economic development regions.  Over the past several years, Syracuse University students have taken home many top divisional awards, as well as awards recognizing women and minority owned businesses.  Syracuse student teams twice won grand prize in the ten year history of the competition. Learn more about the NYBPC here.


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.