2021 North Country Regional Business Plan Competition Hosted by Clarkson University

To register, visit New York State Business Plan Competition

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Country Regional Business Plan Competition will be a virtual event again this year. We are happy to announce the competition will be held on Friday, March 26, 2021. Teams will pitch their businesses to judges who will be participating live.

We are thankful to our judges and our sponsors for supporting this event! Please take a few moments to review and acknowledge the sponsors and judges (see below) who have continued to support the students and teams during these unsettled times.

The North Country Regional Business Plan Competition (NCRBPC) brings students from schools across the region to compete for monetary awards to help develop their ideas and concepts. Students will pitch their ideas and ventures to a group of esteemed judges who will evaluate companies according to a select criteria and will focus their deliberations around the sustainable viability of each venture.

The NCRBPC is a regional qualifier for the New York State competition and will be held on Friday, March 26, 2021. The top two teams in each track from the 10 regional competitions across the state are eligible to advance to the statewide competition in Albany on May 7, 2021, in a virtual competition.


The regional competition is made possible due to the dedicated sponsorship of businesses across the North Country. Sponsors for this year’s event will be posted as they are received:

Thank you to: NuMed, Inc. ~ Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP ~ Sperry Energy ~ Point Positive


We would be unable to hold this event without the assistance of the following professionals and their vast experience. We are grateful for their participation and support of students, teams, and Clarkson Ignite:

  • Dennis Danella: Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
  • Joseph Visalli: Eastern NY Angels
  • Mark Sperry: LC Drives
  • Melinda Little: Point Positive Inc.
  • Anthony DeBonis: Troy Web Consulting
  • Brooke Rouse: St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
  • Mark Cornett: Precise Biometrics Inc.
  • Eric Foster: High Peak Concepts, LLC
  • Leonore VanderZee: SUNY Canton
  • J. Thomas McCarty: NuMED, Inc.

Track Definitions Determined by New York State

There are six different tracks, as determined by New York State, available for student ventures at the regional and state level competitions. Each team has 10 minutes to present and 5 minutes for questions and answers from the judging panel.

The tracks for 2021 are as follows:

  • AgTech & Food
  • Infrastructure, First Responder & Defense
  • MedTech & Life Sciences
  • Education & Well-Being
  • Consumer & Business Products
  • Software & Services


In order to be eligible to apply for and participate in the competition, all teams must meet the following criteria:

  • “Students” are any graduate, undergraduate, and/or community college students enrolled part- or full-time in accredited New York colleges and universities during the current academic year. Students who graduate during the fall semester are still eligible to compete in the competition during the spring semester.
  • Student(s) must be the presenter(s) in all stages of the competition.
  • Teams may compete in only one region per year.
  • Students may not participate on more than one team per year.
  • Grand prize winners from previous years’ competitions are no longer eligible to participate in the competition. They are encouraged to participate as speakers, mentors, volunteers, and judges. Individual members of the winning team may return with new teams in subsequent years.

The following rules apply to teams with incorporated ventures:

  • Cumulative public and private capital raised may not exceed $100,000. This does not include research funding that may have supported the development of the technology in an academic laboratory.
  • The business venture must be at least 80 percent owned by students.

The New York Business Plan Competition reserves the right to withhold prize money from winning teams who do not comply with the eligibility requirements.

If you have questions regarding the North Country Regional event contact: Ann Barrett, Program Coordinator, Clarkson Ignite, abarrett@clarkson.edu or call 315-268-3978.