Two SUNY Poly student teams take home special prizes at 2022 New York Business Plan Competition


On April 27, 2022 the New York Business Plan (NYBPC) announced the 2022 Grand Prize winner, along with special prize winners at Venture NY, the marquee early-stage event hosted by the Upstate Capital Association of New York.

The NYBPC Grand Prize Winner is Photonect from the University of Rochester. Photonect provides fiber-to-chip attachment solutions for companies like CISCO with proprietary technology that offers a 10X time savings compared to current standards. The team is awarded with $15,000 in cash, as well as mentorship and connections from industry leaders throughout our ecosystem of innovators.

Upstate Capital has been leading the statewide intercollegiate entrepreneurship competition for the past 5 years to support New York’s next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders. The NYBPC has 3 goals: to develop entrepreneurial mindsets and skills, to build personal networks connecting students to organizations in New York, and to launch new ventures. The program started in 2010 and has served more than 6,000 students and helped launch 100s of ventures.

The NYBPC is supported by over 100 people and organizations with personal donations and corporate sponsorships, including NYSTAR, the SUNY Research Foundation, NY Ventures and the Techstars Foundation.

Upstate Capital’s President and CEO, Noa Conger-Simons says, “This program has impacted more than 6,000 students since its inception in 2010, with more than $150M of economic impact that can be attributed to student-led ventures that have gone through the program, and hundreds of innovations that have led to commercialization over the past decade.”

Since March, student teams from across the state competed first at the regional level and next through two rounds of competition at the state level. Every team competed in one of six industry tracks: Food & Agtech, Safety, Power & Mobility, Health & Wellbeing, Media, Art & Entertainment, Software & Services, and Products & Hardware. On April 27, the top team from each of the six tracks competed for the Grand Prize. Five special prizes were awarded, three of which supported under-represented founders, sponsored by organizations that helped to establish the criteria for the award. In total, the NYBPC awarded $50,000 in cash prizes to more than 20 teams from more than 200 teams that competed.

2022 New York Business Plan Competition Results:

Grand Prize Winner

Photonect, University of RochesterFounders:

Juniyali Nauriyal and Sushant Kumar

Photonect provides fiber-to-chip attachment solutions for companies like CISCO with proprietary technology that offers a 10X time savings compared to current standards.

First Place Track Winners

Health & Wellbeing: BioSpire, University of Rochester

Food & Agtech: Happy Loose Leaf Tea, Syracuse University

Safety, Power & Mobility: KLAW Industries, Binghamton University

Media, Art & Entertainment: Open Beats, University at Buffalo

Products & Hardware: Photonect, University of Rochester

Software & Services: Lawn Admin, Siena College

Special Prize Winners

KeyBank Healthcare Founder, awarded to an under-represented founder in the healthcare space

Maternal Health Monitoring Service, SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Gryt Award, presented to a founder with building a community as part of the business model

Step 2,3, SUNY Purchase

Tech Garden Special Prize, awarded to a historically under-represented founder that may become a Tech Garden resident, based in Central NY or a neighboring region.

AI Learners, Cornell University

Genius NY Prize, awarded to a founder leveraging drones, autonomous systems, robotics and/or big data in their business model

Small Farm Automation from SUNY Polytechnic Institute

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