SEFCU, SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announce Winning Student-Led
Teams in the 7th Annual $500,000 New York Business Plan Competition

SEFCU, SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announce Winning Student-Led
Teams in the 7th Annual $500,000 New York Business Plan Competition

Friday, April 29, 2016 - 20:31
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Student team ‘Dual:Lock’ awarded $100,000 grand prize for a secure biometric-based gun safe; Five teams earn $10,000 first place prizes out of the 500 teams that applied to take part from across New York State

Albany, NY – Supporting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s innovative educational blueprint and career pipeline for New York State’s college students, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), in collaboration with Title Sponsor SEFCU, today announced that Dual:Lock, led by a student from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was named the $100,000 grand prize winner of the seventh annual New York Business Plan Competition. Overall, more than 500 student-led teams sought to compete in the competition which was held at SUNY Poly’s world-class Albany NanoTech Complex, with 82 making it to the April 29 final round, and more than half were teams that are eligible for women and minority business status in New York State.

The grand prize-winning team also took first place in the Products/Services track. Additionally, five other 1st place finishing teams each took home $10,000 within their respective categories: Nano Hydro from the University at Buffalo for the NYSERDA Energy/Sustainability track; XBoard from Cornell University for the Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology track; Abcombi Biosciences from the University at Buffalo for the Biotechnology/Healthcare track; Oasis Foods from the University of Rochester for the Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit track; and Buffalo Automation Group from the University at Buffalo for the Information Technology/Software track. Notably, SUNY Poly team Kid Sentry received the People’s Choice award in the Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology track after pitching a business plan for a small, wearable device that can be placed on children’s clothing and communicates with a parent’s cell phone to alert them if their child has left a designated area; the technology also allows for parents to monitor sun (UV) exposure, for example, to keep children both safe and comfortable in various outdoor settings, such as a populated beach.

The New York Business Plan Competition drew significant interest from student teams that represented 64 colleges and universities as they pitched their business plans for innovations in a variety of sectors that are driving New York State’s advanced economy, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and clean energy, among others. Competitors hailed from each of the state’s 10 economic development regions, based on Governor Cuomo’s Regional Development Councils that aim to support and expand economic opportunities across New York State.

Title Sponsor SEFCU provided significant support for the competition, in addition to support from Energy/Sustainability Track Sponsor New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Networking Reception Sponsor First Niagara; Supporting Sponsor The Research Foundation for the State University of New York; Friend Sponsors Center for Economic Growth, Albany Medical Center, Anchor Agency, National Grid, New Energy New York, Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C., and Capital Bank; Supporting In-Kind Sponsors Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C., Troyweb consulting, Pinnacle, Schwartz Heslin Group, Inc., Capital District Transportation Authority, and Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC; Friend-in-Kind-Sponsors M+W Group, Crossgates Mall, EYP, Montgomery Law Firm, NY Power Authority, Mazzone Hospitality, and Total Events; and SkipsoLabs.

A panel of national venture capitalists, angel investors, and investment bankers selected the winning teams and offered invaluable feedback for each team that took part in the competition, which was once again presented by SUNY Poly, the University at Albany’s School of Business, and Syracuse University.

“SEFCU is proud to once again partner with SUNY Polytechnic Institute, University at Albany’s School of Business, Syracuse University, and more than a dozen corporate partners to present the seventh annual New York Business Plan Competition. The competition showcases New York State’s entrepreneurial spirit by enabling students to pitch their innovative business plans to investors,” said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU President and CEO. “There is no question that students and their businesses can thrive in New York. Their success will be our success,” Castellana added.

“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s unparalleled leadership driving the development of educational and business opportunities across New York State has sparked the incredible growth of programs like the New York Business Plan Competition, which provides college students with a critical pathway for taking ideas and turning them into vibrant businesses,” said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, SUNY Poly Interim Dean of the College of Nanoscale Engineering and Technology Innovation; Vice President of Entrepreneurship Innovation and Clean Energy Programs. “With powerful support from Title Sponsor SEFCU, in addition to support from NYSERDA, this competition enables college students to escape classroom learning and gain invaluable, real-world business experience which can lead to the next generation of business innovations being based and remaining right here in New York State, further bolstering Governor Cuomo’s unmatched ecosystem for research, development, and commercialization.”

“NYSERDA is pleased to continue its support of the New York Business Plan Competition’s energy/sustainability track,” said NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes. “Innovation in clean energy technologies and business ideas offers great potential to accelerate our clean energy economy and improve people’s lives. We commend the students who took part in this competition and look forward to their future success as outstanding business leaders.”

Dual:Lock, led by student Timothy Oh from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, took the $100,000 Grand Prize for its biometric-based gun safe that allows both the ability to secure any handgun and for specific owner(s) to also gain instant access based on their fingerprints in order to protect their home and family.

“The University at Albany’s School of Business is honored to present the New York Business Plan Competition, in partnership with SUNY Poly and Syracuse University. This unique competition dovetails perfectly with the School of Business’s award-winning SEED Program, our Young Entrepreneur's Academy, new educational programs in entrepreneurship, and the University’s cutting-edge $64 million School of Business building (now called the Massry Center for Business), which are all focused on students in order to provide them with the critical skills that will help them achieve business success,” said the University at Albany’s School of Business Dean Donald S. Siegel. “I commend our partners, including SUNY Poly and Syracuse University, in addition to Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, who graduated from the School of Business and serves on the School of Business Advisory Council, for his significant support as title sponsor of this inspiring competition, which is unlocking exciting opportunities college entrepreneurs from across New York State.”

“Syracuse University is excited once again to work collaboratively with SUNY Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany’s School of Business to provide the seventh annual New York Business Plan Competition as a powerful avenue for students to gain one-of-a-kind opportunities, testing their entrepreneurial skills and receiving valuable real-world feedback,” said Stacey Keefe, Executive Director of the Raymond von Dran Innovation and Disruptive Entrepreneurship Accelerator (RvD IDEA) at Syracuse University. “This event allows students to dream up and deploy novel business concepts that will help to prepare them for an entrepreneurial-focused path to success.”

Significantly, 52 of the 82 teams participating in the final round of the competition, and 23 out of the 36 finalists, were women and minority teams eligible for MWBE status in New York. SUNY Polytechnic Institute will assist each interested team in applying for an official New York State Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (MWBE) designation. In addition, the New York Business Plan Competition plans to introduce an MWBE track beginning next year, in accordance with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s blueprint for maximizing business opportunities for people from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

Teams from the following colleges and universities participated in the final round of the competition: SUNY Polytechnic Institute (including teams from both its Albany and Utica sites), Ithaca College, Medgar Evers College (CUNY), Siena College, RPI, University at Buffalo, Canisius College, Daemen College, Clarkson University, SUNY Plattsburgh, Fulton Montgomery Community College, SUNY Oneonta, Cornell University, Morrisville State College, Mohawk Valley Community College, Stony Brook University, Hofstra University, NYIT, SUNY Geneseo, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Wells College, United States Military Academy at West Point, Culinary Institute of America, SUNY Orange, and Marist College.

Winners of the 2016 New York Business Plan Competition by category and track, with MWBE-eligible status noted, are as follows:

Grand Prize - $100,000 cash and in-kind services ·       Dual:Lock, RPI

First Place - $10,000 cash and in-kind services

  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology – XBoard from Cornell University (MWBE)
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Abcombi Biosciences from University at Buffalo (MWBE)
  • Information Technology/Software – Buffalo Automation Group from University at Buffalo (MWBE)
  • NYSERDA Energy/Sustainability – Nano Hydro from University at Buffalo (MWBE)
  • Products/Services – Dual:Lock from RPI (MWBE)
  • Social/Non-Profit – Oasis Foods from University of Rochester (MWBE)

Second Place - $5,000 cash

  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology – Nullspace VR from University at Rochester (MWBE)
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Bloom Health from RPI
  • Information Technology/Software – PowerSpike from Syracuse University (MWBE)
  • NYSERDA Energy/Sustainability – Phoenix Pioneer Products from SUNY Geneseo
  • Products/Services – Wavio from Rochester Institute of Technology (MWBE)
  • Social/Non-Profit – Guide from RPI

Third Place - $1,500 cash

  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology – Impervious from Clarkson University (MWBE)
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Nova from RPI
  • Information Technology/Software – Datalogue from Cornell University (MWBE)
  • NYSERDA Energy/Sustainability – Underground Greens from Mohawk Valley Community College (MWBE)
  • Products/Services – Equine Design from Cornell University (MWBE)
  • Social/Non-Profit – Vets2Farm from Morrisville State College

Undergraduate Excellence Award – recognition award

  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology – Ballhawk from SUNY Geneseo (MWBE)
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – chromaFISH from Stony Brook University (MWBE)
  • Information Technology/Software – SHIB Website Builder from NYIT (MWBE)
  • NYSERDA  Energy/Sustainability – Hyper-Dry from SUNY Geneseo (MWBE)
  • Products/Services – Powder Partner from Clarkson University
  • Social/Non-Profit – Five North from SUNY Geneseo

Esprit de Corps – recognition award

  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology – Graffiti Stop from United States Military Academy at West Point
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Mono-Matic from Hofstra University
  • Information Technology/Software – DAKA from Cornell University (MWBE)
  • NYSERDA Energy/Sustainability – Thrive from Syracuse University
  • Products/Services – Out There Productions from Syracuse University (MWBE)
  • Social/Non-Profit – Girls Rule Business from Cornell University

People’s Choice Award - $500 cash

  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology – Kid Sentry from SUNY Polytechnic Institute (MWBE)
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Aurora Fluidics from Cornell University (MWBE)
  • Information Technology/Software – TeachMe from Siena College (MWBE)
  • NYSERDA Energy/Sustainability – Cargo Cabin from University of Rochester (MWBE)
  • Products/Services – Clear-Way from Hofstra University
  • Social/Non-Profit – Malaika Apparel Company from Ithaca College

For more information about the 2016 New York Business Plan Competition, please visit:


SUNY Polytechnic Institute. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $43 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 4,000 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff, in addition to Tech Valley High School. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in Troy, the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua, and the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester where SUNY Poly also leads the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at its Utica location and also manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit and

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