2023 North Country Regional Business Plan Competition Hosted by Clarkson University

To register, visit New York State Business Plan Competition

The North Country Regional Business Plan Competition will be at Hotel Saranac in Saranac Lake, NY. We are happy to announce the competition will be held on Friday, March 31, 2023. Teams will pitch their businesses to judges who will be participating live. To participate, teams must be registered no later than Thursday, March 23, 2023.

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.

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 the final competition event will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2023 in Syracuse, New York. The top two teams in each track from the 10 regional competitions across the state are eligible to advance to the statewide competition as determined by the panel of judges.


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:

Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP

Community Bank – Potsdam and Canton locations

NuMED Inc.

Point Positive, Inc.

The Shipley Center for Innovation

St. Lawrence University

St. Lawrence Health

Northern Power & Light Inc.

Adirondack Economic Development Corporation

Bousquet Holstein PLLC

Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce


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
J Thomas McCarty, NuMED Inc.
Maura Maguire, Quantis
Melinda Little, Point Positive, Inc.
Eric Foster, High Peak Concepts, LLC
Nathaniel Lucek, Hodgson Russ LLP
Dawn Rogers, Adirondack Bank

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 8 minutes to present and 5 minutes for questions and answers from the judging panel.

The tracks for 2023 will be finalized in March, but all anticipated tracks are as follows:

  • Safety, Power & Mobility: Defense, Energy First Responder, Infrastructure, Mobility & Transportation
  • Health & Wellbeing: Education, Health IT, Life Science, Medtech, Wellbeing
  • Food: Agricultural Technology, Food Product, Food Service
  • Media, Art & Entertainment: Entertainment, Gaming, Media, Art
  • All Other New Ventures: All ventures that do not fit in one or more of the prior sectors


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 over 50 percent owned.

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.