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Mid-Hudson Business Plan Competition

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2024 Judges and Mentors Information


12th Annual Mid-Hudson Regional Business Plan Competition
April 5, 2024


See below for more information about judges and mentor's responsibilities.

Judges and Mentors Application for the MHRBPC will open in January 2024


Contact Cynthia Worrad,, for more information


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The Mid-Hudson Regional Business Plan Competition prides itself on innovation and technical merit. Both of these values are hallmarks of the main organizing universities, and we strive to integrate them into every aspect of the competition. To do so, we have established a transparent judging process with no conflicts of interest between our judges and the teams that they are evaluating.  A vital aspect of the business plan competition is the support system supplied to student teams by academic advisors and entrepreneurial mentors throughout the competition. Our main goal is to foster and encourage entrepreneurial activity in our students to promote new business ventures. The competition fosters and strengthens connections between student entrepreneurs and area business leaders to promote new business ventures.

All of our judging panels and mentors are composed of a mix of private and public investors, business leaders, and advisors – all of whom have years of experience investing or advising in their respective industries.


The distinguished panels of judges will evaluate student team business plans and provide valuable perspectives and insight on succeeding in building small businesses. 

Judges who have mentored or otherwise engaged with any competing teams are not eligible to participate on any level of the competition - even across tracks or regions.

Judges may serve as either regional judges or state judges (not both) and will be required to complete a unified application to judge for either regionals or state finals. Judges should avoid interaction with all competitors until the event is completed. 

Judging for the 2024 competition will include:

Judges will be asked to review the business plan submissions a couple days prior to the April 5, 2023, Mid-Hudson Regional Business Plan Competition Day. This preview will allow judges to become familiar with the team's product/service idea and develop some questions to ask the teams during the live event.

Judges will be asked to evaluate live pitch presentations and participate in Q&A sessions on the day of the Mid-Hudson Regional Business Plan Competition Event on April 5, 2024. Live pitches will include a Q&A session.

Usual timeframe for  Judges commitment: Apply in January. End of March-April: Judges prep session, Pre-competition review, Judging day of competition

Please check back frequently for updates and potential changes.


Mentors will provide valuable advice for overcoming hurdles that many small businesses face during the initial years and teach students how to navigate the process of beginning and planning a small business.

Mentors are asked to:
Connect with student team members through video conference meetings  
Listen to a student team’s business plan idea(s) and initial pitch
Provide constructive feedback on business plan and pitch
Review student team’s submissions and provide advice for improvement
Provide guidance for live pitch and live question and answer session
Attend student team’s live pitch and Q&A session with judges, at MHRBPC and NYBPC (if move on to state finals)
Provide post-competition advice and suggestions for next steps for development of their business plan
Usual timeframe for mentoring commitment - Apply starting in January.  February - April depending on student team requests, but may start sooner.


Thank you to the 2023 Mid-Hudson Regional Business Plan Competition Judges and Mentors

Al Bartosic, Executive Director - Fordham Foundry, Fordham

Travis Biro, Product Manager - Ensono

William Brammer, Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual

Keith A. Brokaw, Vice President, Sr. Relationship Manager, Lower Hudson Valley, TD Bank

Scott Brenner, Partner - Corporate and Commercial Law, Parlatore Law Group LLP

Ben Caldwell, Business Advisor - Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center

John Cohn, Senior Advisor - Diamond Capital Advisors

Doris Conti, VP - Power Systems Product Management, IBM

Jean-Claude Fouere, Principal - NE Technology Associates

Frank DeSimone, Associate Professor at the Nicolais School of Business, Wagner College

Peter Eliopoulos, Managing Partner - Helios Innovation Group LLC

Phyllis Fein, Business Professor/Academic Advisor - SUNY Westchester Community College

Gregory Garville,  Garville Corporation

Andi Gray, President - Strategy Leaders

Leon Greene, Manager - HV Startup Fund

Edison Guzman, President - Prosperity Marketing LLC

Dana Jones, CEO - Accessadoor LLC

Richard Lewandowski, Founder-Director, Direct Gain Consulting

Cynthia Marsh-Croll, Women's Business Center Director - Women's Enterprise Development Center

Dean Michael, President - Hometown Premier Agency LLC

Bill MidgleyAssistant District Director - SCORE Dutchess

Jean Morris, Certified Business Advisor - Mid Hudson Small Business Development Center

Carol OConnell, Vice President - Pursuit

Bruce Pinker, President & Founder - PFC

Renee Richard, Director of Business Retention & Expansion - Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

Michelle Rider, Catania, Mahon, & Rider, PLLC

Lena Rizkallah, Financial Advisor - Conte Wealth Advisors

Jared Roth, Account Executive - Tanium

Rose Rubin, Chapter Chair - Ulster SCORE

Robert Russini, President/CEO, New Start Capital and SCORE Volunteer

Hugh Schwartz, CEO/Chair - Hudson Valley Center for Innovation

Luke Stangel, Marketing Manager - Secfi

Jan Wallen, Sales Mentor - SCORE

Justin Wingenroth, Owner/Director - The Dance Conservatory


Judges are asked to evaluate companies according to the following criteria:

  • Market Opportunity: Clear market need and a plan to take advantage of the need.
  • Competitive Advantage: The product or service is something unique that has a protectable competitive advantage in the proposed market.
  • Management Capability: The team has the skills and experience to develop this venture and address the associated risks.
  • Financial Understanding: The team has a solid understanding of the financial requirements of the venture.
  • Roadmap/Growth Strategy: The team has engaged in short and long-term planning and has considered strategies for growth.
  •  Sustainable Business Model: The team understands and can communicate their core business model. They are most likely to develop a sustainable venture.
  • Judges will be asked to focus their deliberations around the sustainable viability of each venture.

For more information contact Cynthia Worrad at or Roberta Diggins at

NYSBPC 2023 Rulebook - Please check back for the 2024 NYBPC Rulebook.




Picture of NYBPC Rulebook