2012 Year in Review – SUNY and the Entrepreneurial Century
As we count down to the new year, we thought we’d share some of the SUNY news you may have missed during 2012.
The Technology Accelerator Fund, or TAF, is an engine in SUNY’s system-wide efforts to capitalize on its position as New York State’s economic driver and, through that, lead the Entrepreneurial Century. Business incubators, Centers of Excellence, Centers for Advanced Technology, and other collaborative research ventures continue to be developed and utilized in economic development regions across New York State. They are built on the strength of SUNY research and foster entrepreneurial campus cultures—supporting students and faculty in transforming research results and concepts into the marketplace.
A significant obstacle to the development and transfer of university technology is the lack of funding for promising discoveries after government-sponsored support ends and before a licensee or venture-capital support is identified and secured. Funding at this stage is essential to bring to market promising technology with potential implications for public benefit. The TAF offers a means to assist the SUNY community by providing funding for select technologies to accelerate their development and commercialization.
New York’s economic future is dependent upon the ability to drive technology and invention to the marketplace, and programs such as the TAF support the work of SUNY faculty to achieve these goals.
Current Technology Accelerator Funding
In October, the SUNY Research Foundation announced six new SUNY technologies that will each receive up to $50,000 from the TAF for this year’s applicants:
- Rainbow-Colored Polymer for Multispectral Analysis (University at Buffalo)
- Glazing Technology for “Smart Windows” (University at Buffalo)
- Targeting a Cell’s RNA to Create a Novel Antibiotic (University at Albany)
- Multifunctional Mobility Assist Device (Stony Brook University)
- Use of Radiant Heat for Weight Loss (Binghamton University)
- New Approach to Suicide Prevention (Upstate Medical University)
Past funded technologies have ranged from RNA and cancer research to improved hearing aids technology to smart energy.
New York State Business Plan Competition
The New York State Business Plan Competition is a venture creation and innovation competition that was established in 2009 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout New York State’s colleges and universities and has since become one of the nation’s largest student business competitions.
The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), in partnership with UAlbany’s School of Business, the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, and Union Graduate College School of Management organized a regional business plan competition with a focus on energy technology.
The event was such a success that the scope was expanded to include five additional categories and all students from accredited colleges throughout New York State. The cash prizes available each year to competing teams has grown from about $20,000 in 2010 to more than $200,000 for the 2013 event, thanks in large part to the support of the competition’s title sponsor, SEFCU.
Since 2010, over 140 student teams from 25 New York State universities have presented at the competition. At the end of the 2012 competition, more than $310,000 in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded to student entrepreneurs.
The winners are selected each year by esteemed judges including venture capitalists, angels, investment bankers, other sophisticated public and private investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs.
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The criteria to participate invites nearly all SUNY students:
- Consist of currently enrolled graduate and/or undergraduate students from accredited New York State colleges and universities
- Cumulative public and private capital raised may not exceed $100,000
- Student ownership of venture must be at least 75%