A Syracuse company that is developing innovative technology for the health care field bested more than 20 student-run teams from colleges and universities across the state to win the $100,000 New York State Business Plan Competition held April 28 at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany.
The contest was presented by CNSE in partnership with UAlbany’s School of Business, the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, and Union Graduate College School of Management. It was expanded this year to include higher education institutions from around New York, including CNSE, UAlbany, RPI, Syracuse University, Columbia University, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Cornell University and Clarkson University.
The grand prize winner was Helios, a company that has developed a unique ultraviolet engineering technology to sterilize medical tools and equipment. Made up of students from Syracuse University, the company received a $40,000 grand prize, as well as $10,000 for winning the health care track.
In addition, three companies took home $10,000 cash prizes as 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 who are 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.
Cash prizes were made possible by title sponsor SEFCU. The winning teams were chosen by a panel of 20 judges representing a host of leading organizations from the technology, legal and financial sectors.
“The UAlbany NanoCollege is delighted to have spearheaded the New York State Business Plan Competition, which is developing into a premier platform for identifying, nurturing and showcasing entrepreneurial talent,” said Pradeep Haldar, CNSE Professor and Head of NanoEconomics. “The competition promotes an integrated and interdisciplinary learning experience that supports academic and research excellence, while instilling the critical importance of translating innovative ideas into practical and pragmatic business opportunities. We appreciate the support of SEFCU as this year’s Title Sponsor, and are encouraged by the continuing growth and success of the event.”
UAlbany School of Business Dean Donald S. Siegel said, “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. 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.”
Professor Gina O’Connor, Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, said, “The New York State Business Plan Competition offers students a unique opportunity to develop business plans that will help them transition virtual products and services into real-world businesses. We are pleased to have entertained a broad group of ideas turned into strategic plans, and to have seen firsthand their potential to transform innovations into many different industries.”
“As a business leader, encouraging entrepreneurship is a great way to stimulate our economy, add jobs, help make a positive impact in our community, and inspire young people,” said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU president and CEO. “SEFCU is pleased to be part of such an exciting initiative that brings today's workforce together with tomorrow's business leaders in an effort to foster technological advancements that will benefit us all.”
Students from accredited colleges throughout New York were invited to submit business plans for a student-born innovation that addressed a currently unmet need. Additionally, students from diverse academic areas were encouraged to work together to create a multi-disciplinary approach to their research and business proposals.
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. CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex is the most advanced research enterprise of its kind at any university in the world. With over $7 billion in high-tech investments, the 800,000-square-foot complex attracts corporate partners from around the world and offers students a one-of-a-kind academic experience. The UAlbany NanoCollege houses the only fully-integrated, 300mm wafer, computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration line within 80,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms. More than 2,600 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, and faculty work on site, from companies including IBM, GlobalFoundries, SEMATECH, Toshiba, Samsung, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML, Novellus Systems, Vistec Lithography and Atotech. An expansion now underway is projected to increase the size of CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex to over 1,250,000 square feet of next-generation infrastructure housing over 135,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms and more than 3,750 scientists, researchers and engineers from CNSE and global corporations. For information, visit http://www.cnse.albany.edu.