Allegany County college students pitch for cash prizes
Startup Allegany is launching the County’s first tri-collegiate business plan competition, the Startup Allegany Collegiate Competition, which will be held virtually on April 10.
An exciting and immersive experience into the world of startups, the competition will provide collegiate teams from each school, Alfred State College, Alfred University, and Houghton College, with an opportunity to take an idea focused on sustainability in Allegany County and build it into a viable business plan.
The event will be broadcast on social media for family, friends, and the public to share in the excitement as each team “pitches” their business plan to a panel of esteemed judges who have all been entrepreneurs. With prize money ranging from $5000 for first place, $1000 for second, and $500 for third; the teams are certain to bring their A-game and competitive spirit.
“Business plan competitions have increasingly become an attractive funding source for startups as well as a showcase for attracting investors and talent”, said Dr. Craig Clark, Vice President of Economic Development at Alfred State College and Executive Director of the Allegany County IDA. “Entrepreneurs play an important role in building thriving communities by fostering a resilient ecosystem and driving innovation. This competition promotes the skills needed to think, work, and build like a startup…and hit the ground running.”
Over the course of several weeks, the collegiate teams ranging from two to four students each, will have both academic and industry mentors from throughout the region guiding them as they develop their business plan and pitch. The mentors for this competition are all volunteers and bring a wide range of experience including product development, engineering, manufacturing, human resources, and marketing.
“This event builds on the success of the ‘Tri-Collegiate Think Tank’ that Startup Allegany sponsored last semester, which brought together students from the County’s colleges and local industry leaders to discuss how unexpected events such as the pandemic can impact even the most successful business” said Joe Miller, Assistant Professor of Business Management & Law and Director of Legal Affairs for Houghton College. “We appreciate the support and partnership of the business community for our Startup Allegany student-focused programs.”
Susan Gorman, Chair of the Business Department at Alfred State College added, “This is an excellent opportunity for college students to embark on the processes that occur for business development and entrepreneurship. By gaining these skills and the benefits of being able to work with expert mentors, from both the academic and business community of whom many are entrepreneurs themselves, they will learn what it takes to get products, services, and ideas off the ground.”
This event and the prize money is made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Sealing Devices, Inc., the College of Business at Alfred State College, and the Center for Advanced Ceramics Technology at Alfred University.
Startup Allegany is a county-wide stakeholder group that meets regularly to promote entrepreneurship in Allegany County through events and programs that nurture startups and connects them with investors and corporations. Members include Allegany County, Alfred State College, Alfred University, Houghton College, IncubatorWorks, ACCORD, and the Western New York Incubator Network.