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04-26-2014

Seven Clarkson University Teams Win at New York State Business Plan Competition

Seven Clarkson University teams took home prizes at the fifth annual New York State Business Plan Competition in Albany, N.Y., on Friday.

Salvatore Riniolo, Dan Briere, Evan Jennings, Lorraine Njoki, Bryce Bandish, Lauren Magin, Benjamin Deuell, Briar Bonadonna and Cameron Jones. Missing: Matthew Burke.Competing against 92 student-led startups from 36 colleges and universities across New York state, the interdisciplinary teams representing all of Clarkson University's schools took home nearly twice as many prizes than any other college or university at the competition.

Clarkson's Renoun Ski (Cameron Jones) took second place in the Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology category and won a $5,000 prize. Renoun, which is producing a ski to adapt instantly to snow conditions using a patent-pending technology and principals of aircraft design, also took home a prize last year. See a video about Renoun at http://youtu.be/V6UQLOHY2Pg .

Two Clarkson University teams took home the People's Choice awards in their categories, winning $1,500 each. Steam Engine Technologies (Matthew Burke) took the award in the Energy/Sustainability category, while Outland Manufacturing (Dan Briere and Evan Jennings) took the prize in the Social/Non-Profit category. Read more about Outland Manufacturing at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/2014/news-release_2014-04-02-1.html .

Three Clarkson University teams won Team Spirit Awards. Maji Moto (Lorraine Njoki, Lauren Magin, Erik Worden, Salvatore Riniolo)  took home the prize in the Energy/Sustainability category; Deuell Automated Machines (Benjamin Deuell) won in the Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology category; and Ambizione LLC (Briar Bonadonna) took it in the Products/Services category.

The Rookie of the Year prize in the Products/Services category went to The Pet Pita (Bryce Bandish).

"These students are pursuing their passions with diverse businesses and innovations that include a water purification system, self-adapting skis and a product to simplify the administration of pet medication," said Clarkson Reh Center for Entrepreneurship Director of Operations Erin Draper. "Here at Clarkson, we ask students in all major and years to challenge the status quo and we provide them with the resources and guidance to help make their ideas a reality. Two of the eight Clarkson teams represented in Albany were made up of first-year students. Both won awards and will continue to grow their companies over their remaining three years at Clarkson."

You can find out more about Clarkson's entrepreneurial students in this WPBS TV special: http://watch.wpbstv.org/video/2365190639 .

In March, Clarkson University teams came home with four first-place, four second-place, and two third-place awards at the North Country Regional Business Plan Competition, competing against five other universities and colleges. More than 40 students from six North Country colleges and universities pitched their businesses in the competition, cohosted by Clarkson’s Reh Center for Entrepreneurship and SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Ten teams from the North Country, eight of them from Clarkson, advanced to the finals in Albany. Read more about the North Country competition at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/2014/news-release_2014-04-03-1.html .

Yesterday, a total of 92 student-led startups from 36 colleges and universities pitched their business plans for innovations in a variety of sectors that are growing New York State’s advanced economy, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and clean energy, among others.

The 2014 competition was the largest yet, with an unprecedented number of competitors representing all 10 of the state’s economic development regions, as defined by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Development Councils that were created to expand economic opportunities throughout the Empire State.

Title Sponsors SEFCU and SUNY provided generous support for the competition, which was presented collaboratively by CNSE, UAlbany’s School of Business, and Syracuse University. A panel of national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and seasoned entrepreneurs chose the winning teams.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Seven Clarkson University teams were awarded prizes at the fifth annual New York State Business Plan Competition. Above, left to right: Salvatore Riniolo, Dan Briere, Evan Jennings, Lorraine Njoki, Bryce Bandish, Lauren Magin, Benjamin Deuell, Briar Bonadonna and Cameron Jones. Missing: Matthew Burke.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/nybpc-2014.jpg ]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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