Five students advance in NYS Business Plan Competition
Four SUNYIT students met with success at the semifinal round of the fourth annual New York State Business Plan Competition April 10 on the SUNYIT campus. Student teams from colleges in the region pitched their innovative ideas in a competition much like the popular network TV reality show "Shark Tank." Each team of would-be entrepreneurs attempted to present the most compelling pitch—and the best business plan.
Several teams were selected by the judges to advance to the final round of competition April 26 at UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE). Successful competitors from SUNYIT who will go on to the finals are: Ray Mashewske of Penn Yan and Michael Simpson of Sharon Springs (left) for their portable power source; Michael Tedeschi of Fishkill (right) for his LED glasses project; and Darren Samson of Poughkeepsie (below left) for his MailTheHouse.com concept.
"We were pleased to host the first regional semifinal round in this annual competition," said SUNYIT President Wolf Yeigh. "And all of us at SUNYIT are so proud that our students have advanced to the final round of competition—we wish them the best of luck in Albany."
Sponsored by the State University of New York (SUNY) and State Employees Federal Credit Union (SEFCU), the annual competition encourages student-led start-ups from accredited colleges throughout the state to submit business plans for a variety of business and industry innovations. Student team efforts are judged by national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and entrepreneurs; more than $225,000 in prizes is awarded to winning teams. Regional semifinal rounds—one in each of the state's 10 regions—are new to the competition this year.
A fifth SUNYIT student, Jonnathan Griffin of Middle Grove, will advance to the finals as part of a team that competed in the Capital District regional semifinals. A junior computer science major, Griffin teamed up with UAlbany senior Maxwell Morgan to propose the creation of a tech-based startup aimed at improving high school students' career readiness.