SUNY Poly Names Six Teams Advancing in Annual Statewide Business

SUNY Poly Names Six Teams Advancing in Annual Statewide Business

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 17:18
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For Release:         Immediate – April 8, 2016

Contact:                Jerry Gretzinger, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Public Relations ­

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SUNY Poly Names Six Teams Advancing in Annual Statewide Business Competition

Students from SUNY Poly’s Utica site among teams who will pitch business plans in Albany


Utica, NY – Showcasing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s educational paradigm as it promotes student entrepreneurialism and supports home-grown businesses in New York State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) today announced six teams of students have emerged as regional finalists following the conclusion of the Mohawk Valley Collegiate Business Plan Competition’s Regional Qualifier.  Among the finalists now advancing to the final round of the statewide New York Business Plan Competition are two SUNY Poly-led teams that pitched plans related to information technology/software and products/services. The exciting regional semifinal event was hosted at SUNY Poly’s Utica site, along with event co-sponsors Bank of Utica and M&T Bank. The category sponsor for the event is Mohawk Valley EDGE, along with Student Entrepreneur Supporters KeyBank and Mohawk Valley Small Business Development Center.

The regional qualifier competition drew interest from 13 student teams from nine accredited New York colleges and universities who gathered to pitch their game-changing business proposals for a chance to reach the final round and win part of the more than $500,000 in total prizes. Semifinal round competitions in nine other regions across New York either have been held or are scheduled to take place prior to the final round, which is expected to draw hundreds to SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex on April 29, 2016, when the best student teams from each region will go head-to-head. One grand prize winner will be announced, earning $50,000 cash and over $50,000 in in-kind services.

As a result, teams with SUNY Poly students that will compete in the final round include Vertica Entertainment, which was named the first place winner in the products/services category for commercializing a customized, original song for weddings, anniversaries and gifts, based off of supplied personal stories and memories; and NPMWare, which is commercializing a comprehensive non-profit management suite to manage everything from donations, grant management, locations, and employees.

The New York Business Plan Competition, now in its seventh year, has continued to grow since its inception. Hundreds of student-led startups are pitching their ventures at regional competitions, which are being held at a number of colleges and universities throughout March and April. As part of the competition, each team is allowed a set amount of time to explain their innovation, with teams competing against others in a similar category, or track. Panels of national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and seasoned entrepreneurs serve as judges, providing the student teams with feedback and a chance to understand how their pitch would be received in the “real world.”


Winners of the Mohawk Valley Regional Qualifier by category include:

  • Information Technology/Software

o    NPMWare – SUNY Poly (Utica)

o    Travelsee – SUNY Oneonta, Cornell University

  • Energy/Sustainability

o    Underground Greens – Mohawk Valley Community College

  • Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit

o    Vets2Farm – Morrisville State College

  • Products/Services

o    Vertica Entertainment – SUNY Poly (Utica)

o    My Wine Class – Fulton Montgomery Community College


With event co-sponsors Bank of Utica and M&T Bank powering this unique competition, in addition to support from category sponsor Mohawk Valley EDGE, and student entrepreneur supporters KeyBank and the Mohawk Valley Small Business Development Center, the competition has grown to become the largest of its kind in New York State and one of the biggest in the nation. Through 2015, more than $1,800,000 in cash and in-kind services have been awarded to New York’s collegiate entrepreneurs.

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