Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If I graduated in December 2017, am I eligible to compete in the program?
A: Yes--students that are currently enrolled or were enrolled in the 2017-2018 academic calendar year, including those who graduated in December or another month, are eligible to compete.
Q: Are part-time students allowed to participate in the program?
A: Yes-- part-time students are allowed to participate as long as they are currently enrolled or were enrolled during the 2017-2018 academic calendar year.
Q: Can I have someone on my team who isn't currently a student?
A: No--all members of competing teams must consist entirely of undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in the 2017-2018 academic year.
Q: Are community college students eligible to participate?
A: Absolutely as long as it is located in the Mid-Hudson seven county region and is accredited.
Q: Where do I submit my application for the competition?
A: There will be a web application that participants will access to submit their team application. Details will be provided.
Q: How many teams will advance to the statewide competition?
A: A maximum of two teams from each sector will be selected. If the teams do not meet the standards for the statewide competition, there may be fewer than 12 teams selected.
Q: How many regions will be hosting this type of competition?
A: There are 10 regions across the state hosting regional competitions and selecting top teams for the statewide competition. Each region will send their top teams to the statewide competition.
Q: My venture recently won $25,000 at another competition. Are we still eligible to compete?
A: Yes-- student teams are eligible to compete as long as they haven't raised more than $100,000 in cumulative public and private capital, including other business plan competitions.
Q: What if I win the state prize but then I don't start the business?
A: It is expected that students will continue to work on their start-up businesses. Grand Prize and First Prize winners will receive 50% of their cash prizes up front. They will then be asked to meet several deliverable deadlines in order to receive the remainder of their prize. If they don't meet those deadlines, they still keep 50% of their prize money. Prize winners in all other categories receive their prizes and do not have to provide any further documentation.
Q: Do judges and participants sign confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements so that I don't risk compromising the intellectual property of my idea or technology?
A: No-- judges and participants do not sign confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements, just like in an actual investor presentation. Entrepreneurs need to learn how to effectively pitch their idea, technology, and business model to investors without disclosing confidential information. Teams should not include any confidential information in their applications or pitch decks.
Q: If my team isn't selected to advance tot he statewide final competition, can I still attend and watch the presentations?
A: Yes-- teams that participate at the regional competitions but don't advance are invited to attend the final statewide competition in Albany on April 27, 2018.
Q: Can more than 6 people participate on a team?
A: More than 6 people can contribute to the business, however, only 6 may officially participate in the competition.