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Posted: Mar 27, 2012
UAlbany NanoCollege to host largest-ever field of student entrepreneurs
(Nanowerk News) A record number of student entrepreneurs from colleges and universities across New York are expected to compete for more than $100,000 in prizes when they take part in the third annual New York State Business Plan Competition, to be held Thursday, April 26 at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ( CNSE) of the University at Albany.
SEFCU will again serve as the Title Sponsor for the event, which is the largest of its kind in New York and one of the nation's biggest. The competition invites student-led start-ups from accredited colleges throughout the state to submit business plans for innovations in the areas driving the 21st century economy, including nanotechnology, health care, information technology, and clean energy.
This year, Syracuse University joins the UAlbany NanoCollege, UAlbany's School of Business, and the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer in presenting the competition, which encourages students from diverse academic areas to work collaboratively to create a multi-disciplinary approach to their research and business proposals.
A panel of judges that includes more than 30 regional and national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and seasoned entrepreneurs will select the winning teams, with students competing for more than $100,000 in cash prizes and $20,000 in in-kind services.
"The record number of student entrepreneurs expected to participate in the third annual New York State Business Plan Competition further demonstrates Governor Andrew Cuomo's pronouncement that New York is open for business," said Pradeep Haldar, CNSE Professor and Head of NanoEconomics. "We are pleased to again have the support of SEFCU as the Title Sponsor of this innovative forum, which showcases the promise and potential of New York's colleges and universities to enable the innovation that is essential to driving economic opportunity and growth."
"As Governor Cuomo likes to say, 'New York is open for business.' And, this business plan competition is a true testament to that fact. SEFCU is proud to stand side-by-side with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Rensselaer's Lally School of Management and Technology, University at Albany's School of Business, and Syracuse University in encouraging teams from across the state to vie for the dollars and prestige that come with this competition. The future of this region and the state as a whole will be decided by the best and brightest of today. As a judge in this competition, I personally look forward to reviewing the innovative, inspirational, and transformative ideas that we are sure to see," said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU president and CEO.
"Syracuse University is pleased to join with its colleagues at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, University at Albany and Rensselaer in supporting the outstanding New York State Business Plan Competition," said Bruce Kingma, Associate Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Syracuse University. "This endeavor affords students a unique opportunity to bridge their classroom and laboratory experiences with real-world business applications, and in the process, to set the stage for tomorrow's entrepreneurs to enjoy success in the business world."
"The New York State Business Plan Competition serves as a focal point for our recent efforts to promote student entrepreneurship, and to use our new School of Business Building as the catalyst for effective commercialization of ideas and intellectual property developed at the university," said UAlbany School of Business Dean Donald S. Siegel. "I also applaud Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, who received his BS and MBA from the School of Business and serves on the School of Business Advisory Council, for supporting this important competition as title sponsor."
"We are ecstatic to see the growth in number and competitiveness of the entries. We have worked very hard over this past year to engage more universities across the state by developing our champions program, and it has really worked out well. Additionally, the quality of the judging is outstanding, making this the pre-eminent competition in NY State, as was our vision," said Professor Gina O'Connor, Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer. "We have more work to do, but the progress is outstanding. This competition should become an important source of economic development in the State, and is certainly a signal of the entrepreneurial drive among our students."
Last year, the grand prize winner was Helios, a company made up of students from Syracuse University that developed a unique ultraviolet engineering technology to sterilize medical tools and equipment. In addition, three companies were named winners of individual tracks: RadLab (Nanotechnology), led by Columbia University students who've developed a low-cost solution to wasteful radiator heating systems; MICROrganic Technologies (Cleantech/Sustainability), made up of RPI students targeting commercialization of a microbial fuel cell for industrial and municipal wastewater treatment; and Broodr.com (Services/Non-profit), consisting of Syracuse University students and designed to create an aggregated marketplace for unique products, designs and inventions.
The UAlbany CNSE is the first college in the world dedicated to education, research, development and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience and nanoeconomics. With more than $14 billion in high-tech investments, CNSE represents the world's most advanced university-driven research enterprise, offering students a one-of-a-kind academic experience and providing over 300 corporate partners with access to an unmatched ecosystem for leading-edge R&D and commercialization of nanoelectronics and nanotechnology innovations. CNSE's footprint spans upstate New York, including its Albany NanoTech Complex, an 800,000-square-foot megaplex with the only fully-integrated, 300mm wafer, computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration line within 85,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms. More than 2,700 scientists, researchers, engineers, students and faculty work here, from companies including IBM, Intel, GlobalFoundries, SEMATECH, Samsung, TSMC, Toshiba, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML and Novellus Systems. An expansion now underway, part of which will house the world's first Global 450mm Consortium, will add nearly 500,000 square feet of next-generation infrastructure, an additional 50,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms, and more than 1,000 scientists, researchers and engineers from CNSE and global corporations. In addition, CNSE's Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon provides a prototyping and demonstration line for next-generation CIGS thin-film solar cells. CNSE's Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center of Excellence (STC) in Rochester offers state-of-the-art capabilities for MEMS fabrication and packaging. CNSE also co-founded and manages operations at the Computer Chip Commercialization Center at SUNYIT in Utica and is a co-founder of the Nanotechnology Innovation and Commercialization Excelerator in Syracuse. For information, visit www.cnse.albany.edu.