Business Plan Contest enrollment exceeds expectations

 February 12, 2013                                                                                                                                                                      

One of the largest enrollments in Rochester’s annual business plan contest suggests that entrepreneurship and innovation are alive and well in the greater Rochester area.  

The goal of the 2013 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurship among all who enter while recognizing and rewarding the most promising new ventures and start-up companies. With 46 companies entered in this year’s contest, it is one of the largest groups in the history of the contest, a more than 50% increase over the 30 companies that entered in 2012.  Among the 46, six are repeat competitors. At the end of the two-month process, five companies will be selected to make public presentations to a panel of judges and compete for the prizes.

“While the final presentations and the awards are exciting and dramatic, the behind-the-scenes workshops represent the value-added the experience represents,” says Jim Senall, president of High Tech Rochester, which runs the annual event. “Only five companies make it to the finals, yet the others come away with added knowledge and insights and feedback that will help them grow.”  

Workshops for participants in the 2013 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest began on Wednesday, February 6; the presentations of the five finalists will be made the morning of April 18 and winners will be announced at the annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship luncheon the same day. 

Among the industries represented by this year’s crop of business plan contestants are IT services and software, telecommunications, clean technology, biotechnology, marketing and advertising, education, medical devices, nanotechnology, and media and entertainment.  In the history of the contest, which ran in 1997 and 1998 and then annually since 2005, the 2013 class is the second largest (2005 saw 50 participating companies). Each company pays $150 to enter.

The winner of the annual Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest receives a $25,000 cash prize and a variety of marketing and business incubator services.  

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The Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest is a collaborative initiative aimed at stimulating more entrepreneurial activity in the nine-county Finger Lakes region. The planning committee comprises High Tech Rochester, Inc. (www.htr.org), Digital Rochester (www.digitalrochester.com), The Entrepreneurs Network  (www.ten-ny.org), Excell Partners (http://www.excellny.com) , Greater Rochester Enterprise (www.RochesterBiz.com), Rochester Institute of Technology   (www.rit.edu), Nazareth College School of Management (www.naz.edu/management) and the University of Rochester Simon School of Business (www.simon.rochester.edu).

 Media Contact: Bob Loeb, 585.214.2424