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Launch Time

Sanjay Goel, principal investigator of UAlbany’s Blackstone LaunchPad, talks to a panel of judges during February’s entrepreneurship competition. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 6, 2016) — Blackstone LaunchPad’s annual Student Business Plan Competition is coming down to the line, and students have just one more day to submit their ideas.

The competition’s first stage calls for pitches for ventures and startup ideas, products or services in one of five domain-specific areas. They are:

  • Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Sociology and Social Work) 
  • Computer, Engineering and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Cyber Security, Digital Forensics and Business
  • Education, Fine Arts, Ethnic Studies, Language and Humanities
  • Physical Sciences, Public Health, Biology and RNA Science

Students from all University disciplines and departments are invited to participate and any enrolled graduate or undergraduate student may submit a proposal under any area.

Prizes totaling $8,750 — $1,000 for first prize in each domain, $500 for second place and $250 for third, for a total of $1,750 in each domain — will be awarded in the first stage.

To enter your pitch, email a one-page Executive Summary to LaunchPad@albany.edu by Friday, Oct. 7. Selections will be made Tuesday, Oct. 11.

By Oct. 21, those whose summaries are selected must email their full business plans to LaunchPad@albany.edu. On Nov. 11, each team or individual will give a 10-minute pitch to judges, comprised of entrepreneurs and venture managers, in an elimination round.

During December and January, student entrepreneurs can consult with Blackstone LaunchPad coaches in advance of the final University-wide competition, set for Feb. 24, 2017.

Once again, students or groups will offer 10-minute pitches to a panel of judges, competing for three prizes: a first prize of $5,000, second place $2,500 and third, $1,000.

Competing is a way to learn about becoming an entrepreneur, and to receive free assistance in developing a business plan.

Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus-based entrepreneurship program that supports and mentors students, staff and alumni, regardless of major, experience or discipline. For more information on entering the completion, visit the website or stop by the LaunchPad office in the Campus Center.

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