Clarkson University scholars took first place in three categories and earned two additional awards March 29 at the North Country Regional Business Plan Competition hosted by Clarkson University. Seventeen teams made up of students from Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, and St. Lawrence University took part in the annual contest. Winners qualified for the state competition in Albany, N.Y., on April 26.
Matthew Borowiak of Clarkson (Team: Workers First) was the overall grand prize winner in the Military & First Responders track. For his effort, Borowiak earned $5,000, $2,000 for first place, plus an additional $3,000 as the Grand Prize Winner. First-place winners in each category took home $2,000, runners-up claimed $1,000 and third-place finishers earned $500. A total of $14,000 was awarded during the competition.
Clarkson teams swept two categories: The Energy & Environment track and the MedTech & Well-Being track. Results from this year’s competition:
Energy & Environment track
First Place: Matt Hawthorne and Maura Maguire (Team: TerrApparel)
Second Place: Michael Estes, Bryce Coughlin, Kyle Narod and SUNY Potsdam student Emma Pietrzykowski (Team: H2Code)
Third Place: Abraham Samuel Finny and Aswin Pitchiya (Team: ChemoSense)
MedTech & Well-Being track
First Place: Matthew Poirier (Team: NicoSense)
Second Place: Brian Pfeil (Team: Polysager)
Third Place: Peter Nekos (Team: TRIN)
Technology & Entertainment track
Second Place: Justin Opini and Josh Gordon (Team: stiBITZ)
Third Place: Cooper Smith and Kai Jensen, St. Lawrence University (Team: Woke)
Clarkson students also earned two individual awards. Marques Bouyer (Team: Local.ly) was named the winner of the MWBE Award (Minority & Women-owned Business Enterprise). The MWBE Award is a classification defined by New York State to be any venture in which at least 51 percent is owned, operated and controlled by women or members of the ethnic minorities listed on the Empire State Development website. To provide opportunities available to everyone on a level playing field, MWBE prizes are offered to encourage members of these groups to start and succeed in business ventures.
Zachary Layton (Team: Safeplexity) was selected as the Concept Stage Award winner. The Concept Stage Award recognizes compelling proof-of concept stage businesses that have not attempted any commercial sales. The goal is to encourage students in the earliest stages of business development to continue with their endeavors although they have not yet sold any products or services to customers. Students self-identify on their applications for both the Concept Stage and MWBE awards.
The New York Business Plan Regional Competition is one of the largest collegiate business plan competitions in the world. It is the only statewide collegiate business plan competition that is regionally coordinated and collaborative. The competition was open to students enrolled at one of the 10 colleges in the North Country Economic Development Region. Each team had 10 minutes to present and five minutes to answer questions from the judges. Since 2010, over 2,500 student teams have had an opportunity to pitch their ideas at the competitions.
Competition organizers would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to making the event a success:
Contributing Sponsors: St. Lawrence Health System.
Supporting Sponsors: The Development Corporation, Aramark, Community Bank, Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson and MoJoe’s Coffee (a Clarkson student-operated business).
Friend Sponsors: ACCO, Arconic, Parker’s Real Maple Syrup, North Country Savings Bank, Watertown Savings Bank, Hodgson Russ Attorneys and The Clarkson Inn.
Judges: Donald Whelley, DJW Advisors; Dennis Danella, Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP; Duane Pelkey, Community Bank, N.A.; Joseph Visalli, Eastern NY Angels; Nathaniel Lucek, Hodgson Russ, LLP; Nicole Ouellette, Breaking Even Communications; Brooke Rouse, St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce; Melinda Little, North Country Point Positive, Inc.; Joshua Parker, Parker’s Real Maple; Michelle Collins, SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center; Lenore VanderZee, SUNY Canton; and Devon Sutton, LCDrives Corporation.