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2016 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.  Click on more information about tracks for NYS Business Plan Competition application (We do not use this in WNY.  See below for WNY application).

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.  After our regional competition on April 8, 2016, Winners participated in the New York State competition in Albany on April 29, 2015.  The format for the regional competition is the same as the finals. Each team has 10 minutes to pitch, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with the panel of judges. There is 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 2016, 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.

Presenting Sponsor

NYS Business Plan Competition and WNY Student 2 Biz challenge Winners!

student information for regional competition

Check back soon for information about the 2017 competition. For more information about the 2016 State competition, see below! 

Regional competition information

Day of the event information (2016)
competition information

National information for student entrepreneurs

Regional Resources

student information for NYS competition

campus champions

Past Winners