Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo Accepting Applications
Here’s your chance to pitch your bright ideas to a room full of investors. The Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo is back and looking for talented entrepreneurs. The Hotel @ Lafayette in Buffalo, N.Y. will set the stage for this premiere business plan competition, scheduled for June 15, 2016.
For the first time this year, Bright Buffalo Niagara organizers are providing two cash prizes! Five startups will be selected for 5-minute live pitches for a chance to win the $20,000 prize. An additional 30 entrepreneurs will present 90-second pitches to compete for a $5,000 People’s Choice award. If competition requirements are fulfilled, entrepreneurs will not have to pay taxes on their prize money.
Several experienced entrepreneurs and ecosystem community members from the Buffalo area have been selected as judges for the competition. These startup experts will be responsible for reviewing applications and determining which startups will pitch at the event.
“We’re looking for startups that make clear, compelling cases for investments to grow not only their businesses, but the upstate NY and Southern Ontario economies,” said David Thiemecke, Co-founder of Algonguin Studios and VCAMP technology accelerator. “Our startups break the catch-22 by attracting investor attention from well outside the region.”
Get your applications in! The deadline to apply is April 18 -> brightbuffaloniagara.com
Bright Buffalo Niagara is one of the biggest entrepreneurial events of the year. The competition focuses on connecting the next generation of innovators with investors looking to make a difference and support our growing economy.
Since 2009, the University at Buffalo Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT) and UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) have led the program.
“Having led the Bright Buffalo Niagara event the last two years, I’m excited to say that I think we have found our sweet spot,” said Julie Molenda, Senior Manager, Marketing Communications, UB’s Office of Economic Development. “We have leveraged the best pieces of Bright past and taken it to the next level – providing something for everyone – exclusive investor luncheon, audience participation, live pitches with cash award, entrepreneur trade show and to top it off, guests will gain advice and mentoring from a well respected and well known celebrity entrepreneur.”
The keynote speaker for the seventh annual Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo is Bill Rancic, New York Times bestselling author and the winner of NBC’s “The Apprentice.” Rancic will discuss how startup founders can use the peaks and valleys of the entrepreneurial journey to their advantage. He’ll also address how people can think like an entrepreneur to be more productive in their workplace.
As a cherry on top, a handful of chosen entrepreneurs will also participate in Bright Buffalo Niagara’s Mentor Match-Up. This incentive pairs entrepreneurs with an ecosystem mentor to help fine-tune their presentations before the pitch competition.
In addition to the live pitches, this year’s event will include an entrepreneur tradeshow giving startups the opportunity to showcase their ventures and meet with potential investors, collaborators and mentors. An investor luncheon and cocktail reception party for the startup community is also planned.