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Clarkson University to Co-host North Country Regional Business Plan Competition on March 29

Over 60 students from five North Country colleges and universities will converge on Clarkson to pitch their business startups for a chance to win funding on March 29.

Student teams from Clarkson, St. Lawrence University and SUNY Plattsburgh, Potsdam and Canton will compete in the first North Country Regional Business Plan Competition. Clarkson’s Reh Center for Entrepreneurship and SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship are co-hosting the event.

The first-place winner in each category will receive $2,000 while second place earns $1,000 and third $500. In addition, the top two teams from each competition category — information technology and software, nanotechnology and high technology, products and services, "social" (businesses that exist to create social good) and not-for-profits — will advance to Albany for the state finals on April 26.

"These competitions provide students with a venue for networking and raising seed funding for their emerging businesses," explained Erin Draper, director of operations for the Reh Center. "We are thrilled with the number and the quality of the teams who have entered this year’s competition."

"Seeing the students in an entrepreneurial environment, expressing their creative ideas, and working through the practical aspects of innovation is great. There is a lot of talent being developed and put to good use at business plan competitions," added Richard Gottschall, a SUNY Plattsburgh lecturer.

The New York State Business Plan Competition was established in 2010 and awarded $310,000 in cash and prizes during its first three years. It is now one of the largest business plan competitions in the country with over $500,000 in prizes anticipated in 2013.

The regional semi-finals, initiated this year, are aligned with the 10 Regional Economic Development Councils. The North Country event will be held at Clarkson University in 2013 and 2015 and at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2014.

"The region’s student population is an important asset in economic development," Draper said. "Hosting this event provides an opportunity to identify ideas originating on North Country campuses."

The competition will take place in Clarkson’s Student Center. Interested community members are invited to attend; please call 315-268-4350 for details.

Additional event sponsors include The Development Corporation of Clinton County; Dragon, Benware CPAs; Slic Network Solutions; Hoosier Magnetics; Entrepreneur Coffee; Enactus and SUNY. Further information is also available at

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.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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