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WNY student 2 biz challenge

 The WNY Student 2 Biz Challenge is a collaborative effort between the 21 colleges and universities of the Consortium and promotes entrepreneurship between student teams along six categories:

  1. Biotechnology/Healthcare
  2. Energy/Sustainability
  3. Information Technology/Software
  4. Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology
  5. Product/Services
  6. Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit

Click on Category Definitions for full descriptions.

Currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students from Western New York colleges and universities are encouraged to submit business plans around a student-born innovation that is designed for a currently unmet need. Teams are invited each year to pitch their venture to an external panel of investor judges at the New York Business Plan Competition.  Teams should consist of one to a maximum of six members, excluding the adviser. Students from different academic areas are encouraged to work together to create the strongest team possible. One faculty member is required to be listed as an adviser for the team; offering guidance, support, and technical expertise.

The Student 2 Biz Challenge is championed by The WNY Consortium of Higher Education and after our regional competition on April 10, 2015, Winners will participant in the New York State competition in Albany on April 24, 2015.  The format for the regional competition will be the same as the finals. Each team will have 10 minutes to pitch, which will be followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with the panel of judges. There will be general consistency with this format across all regional competitions.  The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students.  Each group must have a faculty adviser.  With over $500,000 in prizes and an incredible up-welling of entrepreneurial energy in Western New York, we are excited about the possibility of taking home a statewide award! 

In the summer of 2015, a number of WNY winners will be offered a opportunity to incubate their businesses for up to a year on their home campuses.  Each incubated team will be connected with college faculty, institutional resources, and a team of five external mentors to support the development of their business. The goal is to help launch student businesses grounded in innovation, research, and strong mentorship while providing an economic boost to the the WNY economy.

student information for regional competition

Student applications are due March 25, 2015 at 12:00 Midnight using the Student 2 Biz Challenge online application. Sorry, late applications will not be accepted.  Winning teams will be announced on this web site on April 1, 2015.  The regional competition will be hosted on April 10, 2015 at the Hilbert College Swan Auditorium.  Winners of the local competition will compete at the state competition in Albany on April 24, 2015..  For more information on the state competition, see below.

Press Release: Winners of 2015, 3rd Annual WNY Student 2 Biz Challenge


Regional competition information

Day of the event information (2015)
competition information

National information for student entrepreneurs

  • Enactus Site: Enactus is a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to enable human progress. We establish student programs on campuses across the nation. Enactus students apply business concepts to develop community outreach projects, transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world.
  • Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization

Regional Resources

student information for NYS competition

campus champions


2014 Regional winners!!!!

Press Release for 2014 Winners