SUNY Students Thrive at 2018 New York Business Plan Competition

May 17, 2018

Student Teams Secured Eight of the 18 Cash Prizes, Including $20,000 Grand Prize

Albany – Student teams representing The State University of New York took home eight of the 18 cash prizes – including the $20,000 grand prize – awarded at the 9th annual New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC) Finals sponsored by SEFCU. Their winnings totaled nearly $60,000.

The NYBPC is a venture creation and innovation competition established in 2009 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship ay New York’s colleges and universities. It has grown from a small, regional event into a statewide program.

Hosted at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, the one-day event was organized by faculty and staff at its Albany campus in collaboration with Upstate Capital, which led a coalition of statewide and regional sponsors and partners. This year’s final featured 83 teams that advanced through the ten regional semifinals held across the state. Teams pitched ideas for new products, services, and technologies that have the potential to significantly impact a wide range of industries including electronics, diagnostics, health and wellness, and entertainment.

"This is a point of pride for SUNY, seeing what our student entrepreneurs have accomplished, and will accomplish for years to come," said SUNY Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Grace Wang. "The diversity of their award-winning ideas and the quality of their presentations reflects the scope, scale, and spirit of SUNY innovation and entrepreneurship."

The SUNY Research Foundation was one of the sponsors of the competition, and staff provided coaching to some of the teams and helped recruit judges for the event.

"Congratulations to all of the SUNY campuses and students that showcased SUNY innovation at this year’s competition," said Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) President Dr. Jeffrey M. Cheek. "The creativity and ingenuity that exists across the SUNY community was on full display and will, no doubt, shape the future of New York State and beyond. The Research Foundation is honored to support this collaborative effort to build the next generation of entrepreneurs."

SUNY and the RF are leading members of a growing coalition of statewide and regional sponsors and partners dedicated to supporting the competition and expanding its reach.

Winners were selected by an esteemed group of judges, which included venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, other sophisticated public and private investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs.

The SUNY prize winners were:

  • $20,000 Grand Prize: University at Buffalo – Bitcrusher, a device for guitars that allows a user to control digital sound effects right on the instrument.
  • $10,000 First Place, Products: University at Buffalo – Bitcrusher
  • $10,000 First Place Advanced Technology: SUNY Geneseo – Volt-Air, advancing "asynchronous magnetic resonance" as a wireless charging option for drones.
  • $10,000 First Place, Clean Technology/Sustainability: Binghamton University – Infiniti Greens, providing a variety of locally grown microgreens to restaurants, retail markets, and residents at an affordable rate.
  • $2,500 Second Place, Services: SUNY Polytechnic Institute – Vertica Entertainment, using supplied personal stories and memories to create customized, original songs for weddings, anniversaries, and gifts.
  • $2,500 Second Place, Advanced Technology: University at Albany – Ribodynamics, a diagnostic service that provides fast detection of diseases and infections through RNA modification analysis.
  • $2,500 Second Place, IT/Software: Duchess Community College – Accessadoor, an app that allows users to open handicap doors with their phones.
  • $1,000 Third Place, Products: Binghamton University – Micro BELLA, a prebiotic skin care company.
  • $1,000 Third Place, Advanced Technology: Binghamton University – Pressure Ulcer Prevention Pad (PUPP), custom-made cushions that decrease senior citizens’ chance of getting pressure ulcers or bedsores.

SUNY teams were also recognized with the following NYBPC awards:

  • Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Award, Services: SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology – Phelos, a chain of black hair salons with focus on the health of the customers’ natural hair.
  • Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Award, IT/Software: SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology – BeautyCore, software to improve stylists’ efficiency and increase salon profitability.
  • People’s Choice Award, Services: University at Albany – MASH (Make All Students Happy), a platform that connects students, faculty, and staff to the local vendors and nonprofit organizations.
  • People’s Choice Award, Products: Stony Brook University – Reflex, a wearable device to improve the effectiveness of at-home rehabilitation.
  • Undergraduate Excellence Award, Services: University at Albany – MASH

A full list of competition sponsors can be found online.


About the Research Foundation for SUNY

The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (RF) is the largest comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country. It exists to serve the State University of New York (SUNY) by providing essential administrative services that enable SUNY faculty to focus their efforts on the education of students and the performance of life-changing research across a wide range of disciplines including medicine, engineering, physical sciences, energy, computer science, and social sciences. The RF works with the academic and business leadership of SUNY campuses to support research and discovery through administration of sponsored projects and technology transfer and management of intellectual property for public benefit and economic growth. The RF is a private non-profit education cor­poration. To learn more about the RF, visit

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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