Area college entrepreneurs compete in state finals

Teams from six area colleges hope to win $500,000 in prizes




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201304/strongarm.jpg

Ken Huth

Justin Hillery, left, and Sean Petterson, inventors of the Strong Arm Ergonomic Lifting Safety System, won the 2012 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest as well as the grand prize at 2012 New York State Business Plan Competition.

Two dozen teams of entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Finger Lakes Regional Semi-Finalist Presentation Round of the New York State Business Plan Competition, held at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Student Innovation Hall.

Teams representing RIT, University of Rochester, St. John Fisher College, Hobart and William Smith, State University College at Geneseo and State University College at Brockport will present their business ideas to a panel of judges.

The teams will have six minutes to talk about their plans followed by four minutes of questions from the judges.

Categories include Biotechnology/Healthcare, Energy/Sustainability, Information Technology/Software, Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology, Products/Services, and Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit. The top two teams in each category will go on to compete for $500,000 in prizes at the statewide finals at the State University of New York at Albany on April 26.

The judges will be:

  • Ian Cox, director of Lens Design, Optics, and Advanced Tooling, Bausch & Lomb
  • Stephen Fraum, investment officer/vice president of Business Development, American Portfolios Wealth Management
  • Kevin Halpin, managing director, DeltaPoint Capital Management, LLC
  • Rami Katz, COO, Excell Partners
  • Bob Kot, director of New Ventures at High Tech Rochester
  • Linda Murphy, CEO, Flex Enterprises
  • Christine Peters, president and CEO, Family First of NY
  • David Rusin, founder, American Fiber Systems
  • Kathleen Whelehan, president and CEO, The Upstate Bank
    The event is free and open to the public.

For a map and parking instructions, go to http://goo.gl/maps/PI3Ao.

The New York Business Plan Competition is one of the largest business competitions in the nation. More than 50 colleges and universities with more than 300 teams are expected to participate statewide. Last year’s grand prize winner was Strong Arm Technologies from RIT.

201304/strongarm.jpg

Ken Huth

Justin Hillery, left, and Sean Petterson, inventors of the Strong Arm Ergonomic Lifting Safety System, won the 2012 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest as well as the grand prize at 2012 New York State Business Plan Competition.