Blackstone LaunchPad Hosted 2018 its Third Annual Innovation Competition at UAlbany


ALBANY, N.Y. (March 27, 2018) – The Blackstone LaunchPad, the University’s campus-based innovation and entrepreneurship program,  hosted its third-annual innovation competition on Friday, April 20.

The 2018 Innovation Competition took take place in the Massry Center for Business from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The two-stage competition was open to all enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from the University, according to Jan T.Woodcock, executive director of the program.

He said students from all majors are encouraged to participate.

“Students  walk away from this event with the experience of putting together a business plan, but also what it takes to be an entrepreneur, which they can carry into any career,” Woodcock said. “This opportunity  helps them now, but it will also give them a strong foundation for the future.”

He said in the first stage each team will have 10 minutes in a “shark tank” environment to pitch to a panel of judges comprising alumni and area business leaders. The final round will be in a larger venue with all judges.

All applicants must submit a business plan for their venture or startup idea, product or service in one of the following categories:

  • Information technology/software
  • Social entrepreneurship/non-profit
  • Advanced technology
  • Products/services

A goal of this competition is to foster and encourage other business plan competitions in the area, said Sanjay Goel, principal investigator of the program.

“The small business is the engine of economic growth for the country, and by training students early and teaching them how start their own businesses, we can help seed that economic growth,” said Goel, also professor and department chair for UAlbany’s Information Security Digital Forensics, and director of the NYS Cyber Security Center in the School of Business. 

Innovation winners received prizes for their startup businesses exceeding $15,000.