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Blackstone LaunchPad to Host ‘2018 Innovation Competition’

The Competition Will Take Place in the Massry Center for Business on April 20  

The Blackstone LaunchPad opened on the University's campus in 2016.

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 27, 2018) – The Blackstone LaunchPad, the University’s campus-based innovation and entrepreneurship program, will host its third-annual Innovation competition on Friday, April 20.

The 2018 Innovation Competition will take place in the Massry Center for Business from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The two-stage competition is open to all enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from the University, according to Jan T. Woodcock, executive director of the program.

He said students from all majors are encouraged to participate.

“Students will walk away from this event with the experience of putting together a business plan, but also what it takes to be an entrepreneur, which they can carry into any career,” Woodcock said. “This opportunity will help them now, but it will also give them a strong foundation for the future.”

He said in the first stage each team will have 10 minutes in a “shark tank” environment to pitch to a panel of judges comprising alumni and area business leaders. The final round will be in an larger venue with all judges.

All applicants must submit a business plan for their venture or startup idea, product or service in one of the following categories:

  • Information technology/software
  • Social entrepreneurship/non-profit
  • Advanced technology
  • Products/services

A goal of this competition is to foster and encourage other business plan competitions in the area, said Sanjay Goel, principal investigator of the program.

“The small business is the engine of economic growth for the country, and by training students early and teaching them how start their own businesses, we can help seed that economic growth,” said Goel, also professor and department chair for UAlbany’s Information Security Digital Forensics, and director of the NYS Cyber Security Center in the School of Business.

Innovation winners will receive prizes for their startup business exceeding $15,000. The deadline to apply is April 10. Students can register here or by contacting Woodcock.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.