New Collar City eatery aims to have it all

TROY>> There’s a new Collar City eatery on its way, and it’s all about having options.
Located at 50 Fourth St., in the former Union National Bank, “I wouldn’t call it a restaurant,” owner Cory Nelson said, but rather a “gourmet food court.”
On why he decided to open this unique establishment, “I simply just love food,” Nelson said. But he’s not a chef, himself, he admitted. “I eat out all the time.”
In his own experience, when he goes out dining with friends “Nobody wants to eat the same thing,” Nelson continued. So, he took it upon himself to open an eatery that has it all.
Troy Kitchen is slated to have four different food vendors and a coffee bar. Two of the vendors will be from New York City and three will be local food entrepreneurs, Nelson said, but he isn’t sharing who it will be just yet.
A Brooklyn native, Nelson came to Troy two years ago and is now planting some permanent roots by opening his first brick and mortar business within the city’s downtown area. He’s opening the business with a partner Kyle Engstrom. I couldn't have asked for a better partner in this venture,” Nelson wrote on Facebook.
However, “This project doesn't belong to me or Kyle but to the entire city, so we want everyone to feel involved and excited about it just as we are,” the post continued.
Nelson said he considers fellow Brooklynites-turned-Trojans and entrepreneurs Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine, who own Lucas Confectionery, the Grocery and Peck’s Arcade to be inspirational to him in opening Troy Kitchen.  
For more information visit www.facebook.com/TroyKitchenNY.
Look for a full story and photos of Troy Kitchen in The Record and at troyrecord.com next week.


Silverwood now open on Broadway in Saratoga

Silverwood Home and Gallery, formerly of 
24 Caroline St.is now open in a location with higher foot traffic - right on Broadway.
Silverwood Home & Gallery's photo.

The fine art, antiques and home decor shop's new location is the former home of Saratoga Salsa & Spice Company.

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The salsa and spice shop is now closed, but still operating online!

The company posted on Facebook:
With our continued commitment and focus to drive further palette pleasing product innovation- creating even more exciting salsas, sauces, and expanding our nationally recognized Bloody Mare mix products, we will be transforming our business model to focus on distributing our products through online, wholesale, innovative social media channels and special events. Hold on tight and let's make sure we stay connected, because we have some exciting new journeys ahead!!!
To achieve this focus and ensure we meet the goals for this next step of our journey, we will be closing our retail store at 398 Broadway on Feb. 15th.
This has been an extremely difficult decision, to say the least, but we know it is the right decision for Saratoga Salsa & Spice's future. We would like to thank all of our customers for an amazing 10+ years of "foodies with attitude" fun in our shop. This part of our journey is full of so many fond memories and precious friends we have meet along the way. As we move to our next step of the journey, we look forward to continuing to share with our customers a "little bit of attitude" through our online, wholesale and special events channels.
We are so thankful for the opportunities and customer relationships downtown Saratoga Springs has provided us. And most importantly-- we are looking forward to continuing to grow our relationships with our customers and fans.

Mingle Albany restaurant closes its doors, company to consolidate and focus on Saratoga location

SARATOGA SPRINGS>> Mingle Restaurant located at 544 Delaware Ave., Albany, closed its doors Saturday after over 20 years of serving Korean specialty foods to the Capital District. 

“We are saddened to announce that we will cease operations at our current 544 Delaware Ave. location,” said Jose Filomeno, managing partner of Mingle on the Avenue, Saratoga Springs and former owner of Mingle Restaurant, Albany. “We have decided to consolidate and concentrate our efforts on our Saratoga location. We would like to thank all of our friends, family, neighbors and guests who have made our time here on Delaware Avenue feel like home.”

As the doors of Mingle Albany close, Mingle on the Avenue, Saratoga Springs, warmly open their doors to two new chefs and their team. Mingle Saratoga welcomes American Cuisine Federation (ACF) 2012 President’s Award Winner executive chef Un-Hui Filomeno and Saratoga’s own chef de cuisine Brady Dillon. 

“We would like to welcome Chef Un-Hui Filomeno and Chef Brady Dillon to our Mingle on the Avenue Saratoga team!” said Jose Filomeno. “Chef Un-Hui brings over 25 years of award winning international cooking as well as an intimate knowledge of Asian culinary techniques. “

“I am excited to come to the beautiful city of Saratoga Springs and work with my son Jose again. Although I am sad to leave Albany behind, I know that our patrons will visit Mingle on the Avenue in Saratoga,“ said Un-Hui Filomeno. About her traditional style of Korean cooking, Chef Un-Hui said, “I like to prepare Korean dishes from the region I grew up in. I make everything from scratch, the old fashioned way, with the freshest ingredients.”

Dillon, a native Saratogian, grew up in the kitchen at Siros (his father’s restaurant). His unique cooking style is influenced by his time spent working in Hawaii and New York City. Chef de cuisine Dillon said he was looking forward to bringing a new type of cuisine to Saratoga. “The tastes of the Saratoga region have become diverse and the new menu is designed to satisfy the diversity,” he said.

Former owner of Siros, chef Tom Dillon will be on site to see Mingle on the Avenue through the transition. “I wish Jose the best of luck and feel in my heart that they will be an extremely effective team because of Chef Brady’s experience, expertise and drive and Jose and chef Un-Hui’s commitment.”

When asked what type of food guests can expect to enjoy at Mingle on the Avenue, Jose Filomeno responded, “We have always served locally sourced, globally inspired foods. We will continue to do so as we introduce more variety in our menu items that will satisfy the palates of all of our guests. We will be releasing our new spring menu tomorrow which will include authentic Korean specialties as well as crowd pleasing favorites such as Lobster Mac & Cheese!”

Mingle is independently owned and operated and located next to the Pavilion Grand Hotel. “We are excited about the changes and continued success of Mingle on the Avenue and we look forward to the phenomenal dining opportunity these changes will present to the community as well as our hotel guests,” said Susanne Simpson, general manager of the Pavilion Grand Hotel.  “The personal experience and reputation of both chefs precede them!”

Any guests of Mingle Albany with remaining gift cards may redeem them at the Saratoga location or send them to 30 Lake Ave. in Saratoga Springs.

Mingle is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. For more information visit www.minglerestaurants.com.


New Sirloin Third Pound Burgers being served at area McDonald's restaurants next week

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CAPITAL REGION>> There’s a McDonald’s menu item hitting Capital Region restaurants next week, and this burger deserves a proper introduction.

Three varieties of Sirloin Third Pound Burgers will be available at local McDonald’s beginning next Wednesday, May 6.

They are:
·        Steakhouse: Made with a third-pound of 100 percent Sirloin beef topped with sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, white cheddar cheese and a creamy peppercorn sauce all served on a sesame seed bun.
·        Bacon and Cheese:  Made with a third-pound of 100 percent Sirloin beef topped with yellow mustard, zesty ketchup, sliced pickles, red onion rings, Applewood smoked bacon, and white cheddar cheese all served on a sesame seed bun.
·        Lettuce and Tomato: Made with a third-pound of 100 percent Sirloin beef topped with creamy mayonnaise, yellow mustard, a fresh slice of tomato, green leaf lettuce, rings of red onion, sliced pickles and white cheddar cheese all served on a sesame seed bun.

Each burger is freshly prepared with a third-pound of 100 percent Sirloin beef that is North American sourced, and topped with fresh, tasty ingredients served on a sesame seed bun.
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“We’re thrilled to offer this new, premium menu option to our local customers,” said Renee Reardon, local McDonald’s owner/operator and President of the McDonald’s Operators of the Capital District in a press release. “The Sirloin Third Pound Burgers will offer our customers a premium sirloin burger experience, with the everyday value, quality and convenience they’ve come to expect from McDonald’s.”

Displaying IMG_0078.jpgThese special burgers will only be around for the summer, so “get it while you can,” local Latham, Clifton Park and North Greenbush McDonald’s owner Andrew James said Tuesday afternoon at an exclusive first taste event for members of the media.

Proud of what his company is doing to support sustainable beef practices and use antibiotic free chicken, “We’re taking the lead in the industry to make sure that we are serving the best,” James said.
To kickoff the new Sirloin Third Pound Burgers, McDonald’s customers in the Capital Region are encouraged to join the conversation on Twitter @McDAlbanyNY for a chance to win free Extra Value Meal coupons and other exciting giveaways.
For more information about the new Sirloin Third Pound Burgers and McDonald’s full line of menu choices including nutrition information visit www.McDonalds.com.

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World-famous fries served on a silver platter.

Suny Poly and Sematech announce Air Products joining Chemical Mechanical Planarization Center

Planarization Center Partnership Expected to Spur $5M in Investments over the Next 3 Years and Support 50 Jobs as Advanced CMP Slurries and Post-CMP Cleaning Chemicals for Next-Generation Computer Chip Production are Developed

Albany, NY – In direct alignment with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s high-tech public-private partnership model for economic growth in New York State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE) and SEMATECH today announced that Air Products will join the joint SUNY Poly CNSE / SEMATECH Advanced Planarization Center at the Nanotech Complex in Albany. Under this agreement, Air Products will work with SUNY Poly CNSE and SEMATECH to research, develop, and commercialize leading-edge Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) slurries as well as chemicals for post-CMP cleaning applications to supply its worldwide customer base.  The CMP Center initiative is projected to lead to multiple party investments of $5 million over the next three years and create or support 50 jobs, including 30 at SUNY Poly CNSE.

“As yet another example of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s blueprint for business and high-tech jobs growth in New York State, we are excited to welcome Air Products to the CMP Center where they will be able to leverage SUNY Poly CNSE’s state-of-the-art resources, the NanoTech Complex’s globally recognized capabilities, and SEMATECH’s scientific expertise to drive next-generation CMP and post-CMP innovations, enabling the creation of faster and more efficient computer chips,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “Air Products’ involvement is further proof of the power of Governor Cuomo’s vision for New York State’s burgeoning nanoscience-based ecosystem, which is an engine for business and job opportunities.”

“Our participation in the CMP Center builds on the collaboration with SEMATECH that started two years ago,” stated John Langan, Global Director of Electronics Technology at Air Products.  “By leveraging the expertise and capabilities of the Center at SUNY Poly CNSE we are able to accelerate the development of our CMP product offerings for sub-10nm IC fabrication.”

The three-year agreement paves the way for collaborative work between scientists from SUNY Poly CNSE, SEMATECH, and Air Products, which will utilize SUNY Poly CNSE’s state-of-the-art chip fabrication tools. SUNY Poly CNSE will also provide Air Products with a steady source of advanced wafers for testing and developing post-CMP cleaning chemicals as well as slurries that are used as part of the CMP process. Additionally, the pioneering work that is expected to take place at SUNY Poly’s world-class $20 billion Albany NanoTech Complex will support ongoing advanced chemical research at the company’s other facilities, located in Taiwan and Arizona.

More specifically, Air Products will be able to leverage the very first dedicated Advanced CMP test maskset, located inside one of SUNY Poly CNSE’s Class 1 capable cleanrooms, to support refinement of their shallow trench isolation (STI) polish. This test maskset has been designed by SUNY Poly CNSE and SEMATECH to update the well-known SEMATECH/MIT maskset, which has been the de facto workhorse for the CMP community for the last two decades.  STI is a technique for depositing certain insulating materials inside trenches that have been etched into a silicon wafer in order to minimize electrical “leakage” from closely packed semiconductor components. As part of the CMP process, a reactive liquid solution, known as a ”slurry,” is applied to a polishing pad and used to remove any excess material from the filled trenches. Use of the Advanced CMP maskset will allow Air Products to develop and test next-generation CMP slurries and post-CMP cleaning chemicals, using feature sizes and materials which are most relevant to next generation chip manufacturing.

“We are excited that Air Products has taken this important first step.  The response for the advanced CMP maskset has been immense, ever since rollout of the design at the International Conference on Planarization/CMP Technology (ICPT) in Kobe, Japan last November (http://www.icpt2014.org),” said SUNY Polytechnic Institute Associate Vice President for Business, Wafer Processing, Frank Tolic.  “The significance of this one of a kind Planarization Center impacts the entire global semiconductor community and is made possible through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s continued efforts to drive New York’s global leadership in nanotechnology research and development.”

The new joint Center plays a critical role in SUNY Poly CNSE and SEMATECH’s efforts at enabling innovation in nanoelectronics, serving as a technology test-bed to enable participating companies with development, demonstration, integration, and qualification of advanced CMP technologies for the semiconductor industry. In concert with other Centers that are being established, the Planarization Center will create cross-center synergies to drive technical excellence, reducing total ownership costs as next-generation technology is developed. Already, the Planarization Center has seen significant interest from a number of CMP sector-leading corporations, which are in active negotiations to partner with the Center.

Globally recognized for innovative atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment, and technologies, Air Products’ planarization line of business offers an established portfolio of CMP slurry products for copper CMP, tungsten CMP, STI CMP, and wafer polishing applications. Air Products also supplies specialty chemicals for use in semiconductor post-CMP cleaning applications and boasts more than 750 production facilities with operations in more than 50 countries that serve over 30 industries.

“We are proud that Air Products has chosen to leverage the joint SUNY Poly CNSE / SEMATECH Planarization Center’s industry-leading resources to stay ahead of the curve with cutting-edge CMP slurries and post-CMP cleaning chemicals, providing even more proof that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for high-tech, nanotechnology-based growth in this region and across upstate New York is coming to fruition,” said SEMATECH Director of Corporate Development, Dr. Edward Barth. “We are excited for the Planarization Center’s future. It continues to expand through the participation of top corporations like Air Products, creating jobs and business opportunities while demonstrating the ongoing value of collaborative research and development in high technology industries.”

El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant Reopening with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant on Hamilton Street is now open after being closed over a year due to a small fire. 

El Mariachi is located in the Robison Square area of downtown Albany and will host a cutting ribbon ceremony.

Business owners are Patty Bermejo Bhola and Freddie B. Bhola. Patty Bermejo's family is a native of the beautiful and colonial city of Puebla, Mexico. The traditional cuisine and outstanding specialties from their hometown are incorporated in El Mariachi's Menu.  With the strong family tradition that their parents taught them, the Bermejo family have been able to start the first Authentic Mexican Restaurant in the Capital Region. 

El Mariachi began serving traditional delicious Mexican and Spanish cuisine in the Capital Region more than 18 years ago. 

Tuesday, April 28 at 4:30 p.m.
289 Hamilton Street, Albany

Patricia Fahy, NYS Assemblymember
Daniel McCoy, Albany County Executive
Kathy Sheehan, Mayor, City of Albany
Mark Eagan, President and CEO, Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber


Ready for a Some Spring Fun?

Food Trucks. Artisanal Vendors. Art & Design. Music & More.

Come out and enjoy Downtown in a new, fun way. Relax in Tricentennial Park while enjoying some delights from available food trucks, soak in some music or browse the cool wares from artisanal vendors and artists. Make it a full evening and pop in at neighboring Albany Center Gallery and other 1st Friday Albany participants, or stop off for a drink at one of our many Downtown pubs.

Saratoga National Bank Adds Colonie Mortgage Originator

COLONIE– Saratoga National Bank and Trust Company has hired Jamie Mattison as Mortgage Originator at our Colonie Office.

In this role, Mr. Mattison will work to meet the mortgage needs of customers in the Capital Region. He joins Saratoga National Bank with 14 years of local residential and commercial lending experience. Now a resident of Glenville, Jamie grew up in Clifton Park, where he attended Shenenhowa High School.

Saratoga National Bank and Trust Company currently provides banking, investment, insurance and other financial services through eight locations in Saratoga and Albany counties; a ninth office is planned for Troy. It is rated a 5-Star Superior institution by Bauer Financial. More information can be found online at saratoganational.com.

Michael J. Hickey Named Interim President & CEO of the Center for Economic Growth

The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) Board of Directors has elected CEG Board Chairman Michael Hickey as the Interim President and CEO, beginning July 1, 2015.  Hickey takes over for F. Michael Tucker, who announced his decision to step down after eight years leading CEG in January.

“The Capital Region’s economic environment has been strengthened as a result of Michael Tucker’s tireless efforts to foster innovative collaborations and partnerships,” said Union Graduate College President Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D., head of the CEG search committee. “Michael Hickey is perfectly poised to provide continuity. His background, efforts on behalf of, and passion for the economic health of the Region makes him the ideal leader to carry on CEG’s critical work. I look forward to working with him during this important transitional phase.”

“Mike Hickey’s decision to take on the leadership role at CEG is good news for the region,” Tucker said. “As a dedicated CEG member and more recently as the tireless Chairman of the Board, Mike has shared my passion of fostering productive collaborations to strengthen the economic ecosystem of Tech Valley.  He is committed to CEG’s focus on advancing innovation-driven, technology-based industries in a range of areas including energy, bio- and nano-technologies, and advanced manufacturing.  He is the ideal person to lead CEG.”

CEG is the premier economic development and regional marketing organization in New York’s Tech Valley.  CEG's vision is to lead Tech Valley as one of the most prosperous and innovative ecosystems in the world.  CEG is dedicated to attracting high-tech talent and companies and to providing innovative services to bolster businesses in New York State's Capital Region and across Tech Valley. 

“CEG is critical to the continued growth of the Capital Region,” said CEG Board Member Jeff Stone, senior vice president of Kinderhook Bank. "It has played a key role in not only attracting new business to the region, but retaining existing business. Having served as the CEG board chair, Mike Hickey is uniquely positioned to hit the ground running.”

Hickey holds a B.S. in Marketing and Management from Siena College and an MBA from SUNY University at Albany. He was Chief Operating Officer of MapInfo when upon the company’s acquisition by Pitney Bowes in 2007, he was named president and later became president of Pitney Bowes software businesses. Since leaving Pitney Bowes in 2010, he has served as Executive in Residence at Siena, President and CEO of the Hickey Group and as member of the Eastern New York Angels (ENYA), an angel network that provides seed funding to early stage companies. He also previously served as chairman of the Board of the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce.

“Mike Hickey’s background in business operations and management, coupled with his active civic involvement and knowledge of CEG strengths, make him an ideal person to lead CEG during this important transitional period,” said Mark Eagan, CEO and President of the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce. “I look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with CEG under his leadership.”

Hickey will take a one-year leave of absence from his role at Siena College for the interim position.

“At this critical juncture, I feel a personal responsibility to ensure CEG becomes a key component of this region’s economic future,” Hickey said. “As a lifetime resident of the Capital Region, I have a vested interest in seeing our region reach its potential on the global stage. I am honored to be asked to serve in the role of Interim CEO and President of CEG.”

In March, the CEG Board announced its decision to seek an Interim President, whose 1-year term would extend through July 2016. The decision was based on the previously announced impending departure of Mr. Tucker, the untimely death of CEG Executive Vice President, Jeff Lawrence in March, and the need for CEG to be more fully-staffed to assist with the Capital Region’s response to the Governor Andrew Cuomo's $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

“Michael Hickey has played a vital role in regional economic development issues making him extremely well-suited to continue the great work done by Michael Tucker,” said Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino. “I have every confidence that Michael will bring the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) to new heights with an emphasis on the integral role CEG will continue to have in the Capitol Region Economic Development Council’s work.”

Hickey will have a one-year term as interim president, extending through July 2016. Tucker will work closely with Hickey during this shift to interim leadership, with an overlap to ensure a smooth transition.

About CEG:
The Center for Economic Growth serves as the Capital Region’s designated Regional Technology Development Center.   With over 300 C-level members in business, government, education, and the not-for-profit sectors, CEG works to build a skilled and sustainable workforce and education pipeline; cultivate a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem; and ensure a modern infrastructure to grow local companies, attract new investment and prepare our communities for growth. For more information on CEG's strategic initiatives and technology service programs, visit www.ceg.org or call (518) 465-8975.

Circus Café and The Crown Grill host celebration May 1

The Circus Café and The Crown Grill Room are coming together with one menu featuring the best of Circus Café and the best of The Crown Grill. Guests will have a choice of dining room ambiance: Circus Café's fun, festive
atmosphere or The Crown Grill's casual elegance with chandeliers, murals, and Library dining room. Lunch and Dinner menus will be offered as well as separate gluten free menus.

The restaurant features two bars and an extensive menu with group party drinks, signature cocktails, "juicetails" (made with Saratoga Juice Bar cold pressed juice), Saratoga Mules served in copper mugs (Tito's Vodka, Fresh
Pressed Lime Juice from Saratoga Juice Bar and authentic Bermuda Ginger Beer), 11 beers on tap and a Wine Spectator award winning wine list. The Circus Café and The Crown Grill Room also boasts two private back rooms for parties, corporate events, on and off premise catering and the largest sidewalk café on Broadway. Weekly events include open mic on Thursdays, live jazz on Fridays, karaoke each Saturday, and trivia each Sunday.

The celebration also incorporates the 11th year anniversary of Circus Café and the two year anniversary of The Crown Grill. Festivities begin at 5 p.m.with cocktail samples, complimentary appetizers and live music. Circus Café
and The Crown Grill Room are located at 390-392 Broadway. For more
information visit www.circuscafe.com or call 518.583.1106.


SEFCU, SUNY Poly CNSE Announce Winning Student-Led Teams in the 6th Annual $500,000 New York Business Plan Competition

Student team ‘UMA Bioseed’ receives $100,000 grand prize for a unique seed coating enabling higher crop yields; Five teams awarded $10,000 first place prizes out of the 500 teams that applied to take part from across New York State

Albany, NY – Supporting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s blueprint for New York State’s entrepreneurial and high-tech ecosystem, SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE), in collaboration with Title Sponsor SEFCU, today announced that UMA Bioseed, composed of students from Cornell University, was selected as the $100,000 grand prize winner of the sixth annual New York Business Plan Competition in which more than 500 student-led teams sought to compete at the April 24 final round, held at SUNY Poly CNSE.

In addition to the grand prize-winning team which took first place in the Energy/Sustainability track, five other 1st place finishing teams each took home $10,000 within their respective categories: ACV Metrology from SUNY Poly CNSE for Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology; Trainsmart from SUNY Geneseo for Biotechnology/Healthcare; Volu from Syracuse University for Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit; Think Olio from CUNY - Baruch College for IT/Software, and Four Score Jeans from Clarkson University for Products/Services. SUNY Poly CNSE teams LuxOrioN and Brewminder placed second in the Energy/Sustainability track and third in the Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology track, respectively.

The New York Business Plan Competition drew interest from more than 500 student-led startups, with teams representing 65 colleges and universities pitching their business plans for innovations in a variety of sectors that are growing New York State’s advanced economy, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and clean energy, among others. Competitors represented all 10 of the state’s economic development regions, as defined by Governor Cuomo’s Regional Development Councils that were created to expand economic opportunities throughout New York State.

Title Sponsor SEFCU provided significant support for the competition, in addition to Lead Sponsor NYSERDA; Institutional Sponsors First Niagara and Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR); Friend Sponsors National Grid, Anchor Agency, Center for Economic Growth, Albany Medical Center, New Energy New York, and FuzeHub; Associate Sponsor Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership; Support from Skipso Labs; Supporting in-kind Sponsors Troy Web, Albany Business Review, Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, Reitler, and CDTA; and Friend in-kind Sponsors Pinnacle, Nixon Peabody, Schwartz Heslin Group, Teal Becker, and NY Excel.

The New York Business Plan Competition was once again presented by SUNY Poly CNSE, the University at Albany’s School of Business, and Syracuse University. A panel of national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and seasoned entrepreneurs selected the winning teams.

“SEFCU is proud to once again partner with SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, University at Albany’s School of Business, Syracuse University, and more than a dozen trailblazing corporate partners to present the sixth annual New York Business Plan Competition, as we aim to encourage entrepreneurship with this powerful program by enabling students to pitch their innovative business plans to investors,” said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU President and CEO. “This program not only helps to keep students and their businesses right here in New York, it sends the message that a vibrant higher education system is a catalyst to strong economic growth,” Castellana added.

“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership in developing educational and business opportunities continues to drive exciting programs like the New York Business Plan Competition, which provides students with an unmatched avenue for bringing their ideas to market,” said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, CNSE VP of Entrepreneurship Innovation and Clean Energy Programs and Professor and Head of Nanoeconomics. “With support from Title Sponsor SEFCU, in addition to support from NYSERDA, this competition is a critical means for providing students with the chance to bridge classroom learning with real-world business principles to achieve a unique business experience which can lead to lasting success. Moreover, the New York Business Plan Competition underscores the success of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s high-tech agenda for New York State, leading to a burgeoning 21st Century economy and an unmatched ecosystem for research, development, and commercialization that is increasingly keeping New York’s students and their ideas right here.”

UMA Bioseed, led by Cornell University students Margaret Wu, Abhijeet Bais, and Brennan Duty received the $100,000 grand prize, which will support further development of their novel organic crop seed coating solution that destroys pathogens that surround a planted seed. This unique approach can increase crop yield without the use of harmful pesticides or the deployment of genetic modifications to spur healthy seed growth.

“NYSERDA is pleased to support the New York Business Plan Competition, and in particular, the energy/sustainability track, as it holds incredible promise for the development of cutting-edge technologies and business concepts by New York’s top college students,” said NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes. “We commend the students who participated in this competition, and who are representative of the State’s next generation of business and industry leaders.”

“UAlbany’s School of Business is honored to present the New York Business Plan Competition with SUNY Poly CNSE and Syracuse University. It is the perfect complement to the School of Business’s award-winning SEED Program, our Young Entrepreneur's Academy, new educational programs in entrepreneurship, and the state-of-the-art $64 million School of Business building which opened recently, all of which are laser-focused on empowering students with the skills that are crucial for success in the business world that is growing ever more complex,” said UAlbany School of Business Dean Donald S. Siegel. “I applaud our partners, including SUNY Poly CNSE and Syracuse University, as well as Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO of SEFCU, who graduated from the School of Business and serves on the School of Business Advisory Council, for his steadfast support of this powerful competition as a title sponsor, ensuring untold opportunities for New York State’s college entrepreneurs.”

“Syracuse University is excited to partner with SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and the University at Albany’s School of Business to provide the sixth annual New York Business Plan Competition as a critical platform for providing one-of-a-kind opportunities for New York’s collegiate entrepreneurs,” said Stacey Keefe, Executive Director of the Raymond von Dran Innovation and Disruptive Entrepreneurship Accelerator (RvD IDEA) at Syracuse University. “This competition inspires students to challenge themselves with the creation and deployment of novel business concepts that will undoubtedly prepare them for future business success.”

Teams from the following colleges and universities participated in the final round of the competition: SUNY Polytechnic Institute (including teams from both the Albany and Utica campuses); Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; University at Albany; Skidmore College; CUNY - Queensborough Community College; CUNY - Queens College; CUNY - Baruch College; CUNY - Hunter College; CUNY - Medgar Evers College; Farmingdale State College; Molloy College; Stony Brook University; SUNY Geneseo; Rochester Institute of Technology; University of Rochester; Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Marist College; Culinary Institute of America; United States Military Academy at West Point; Nyack College; Bard College; University at Buffalo; Daemen College; Paul Smith's College; Clarkson University; SUNY Potsdam; Syracuse University; Utica College; SUNY ESF; SUNY Oneonta (Cooperstown Grad Program); Morrisville State College; Hamilton College; SUNY Cobleskill; Mohawk Valley Community College; Ithaca College; Cornell University; and Binghamton University.

Winners of the 2015 New York Business Plan Competition by category and track are as follows:

Grand Prize - $100,000 cash and in-kind services
·       UMA Bioseed, Cornell University

First Place - $10,000 cash and in-kind services
  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology: ACV Metrology, SUNY Poly
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – TrainSmart, SUNY Geneseo
  • Information Technology/Software – Think Olio, CUNY - Baruch College
  • Energy/Sustainability – UMA Bioseed, Cornell University
  • Products/Services – Four Score Jeans, Clarkson University
  • Social/Non-Profit – Volu, Syracuse University

Esprit de Corps – recognition award
  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology: Contact, Syracuse University
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – InsertHeals, Ithaca College
  • Information Technology/Software – Travelsee, SUNY Oneonta
  • Energy/Sustainability – ThermoGyze, Queensborough Community College
  • Products/Services – Ashley Parrington Co., SUNY Geneseo
  • Social/Non-Profit – Burlock Thread Works, Bard College

Undergraduate Excellence Award – recognition award
  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology: Obiex, SUNY Geneseo
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Comfy Pets LLC, Clarkson
  • Information Technology/Software – MSquare, SUNY Potsdam 
  • Energy/Sustainability – TerraPellets, SUNY Geneseo
  • Products/Services – Powder Partner, Clarkson University
  • Social/Non-Profit – Vets2Farm, Morrisville State

People’s Choice Award - $500 cash
  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology: CLambeda, University of Rochester
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – iTrex Assisted Walking Devices, USMA West Point
  • Information Technology/Software – Z-Score, Clarkson University
  • Energy/Sustainability – Juice +, Stony Brook University
  • Products/Services – QuickStix, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Social/Non-Profit – The Rochester River Foundation, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Third Place - $1,500 cash
  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology: Brewminder, SUNY Poly
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Hospital Heroes, Molloy
  • Information Technology/Software – VISOWORLD, SUNY Geneseo
  • Energy/Sustainability – Underground Greens, Mohawk Valley Community College
  • Products/Services – Chuga Chaga Inc, University at Albany
  • Social/Non-Profit – Cataract Innovations, University of Rochester

Second Place - $5,000 cash
  • Advanced Technology/Nanotechnology: Elektrac, Clarkson
  • Biotechnology/Healthcare – Photozyne Biotechnologies Inc, University at Buffalo
  • Information Technology/Software – RightPrice, Cornell
  • Energy/Sustainability – LuxOrioN, SUNY Poly
  • Products/Services – Royal Meadery, SUNY Cobleskill
  • Social/Non-Profit – Klicka, Skidmore


SUNY Polytechnic Institute. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineeringtechnology, professional studies, and the arts and sciences at its Utica/Rome campus. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $20 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 3,500 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff, in addition to Tech Valley High School. The Utica/Rome campus offers a unique high-tech learning environment, providing academic programs in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, with degrees and course offerings in natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, CNSE’s Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester, and the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) on its Utica campus and also manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit www.sunycnse.com and www.sunypoly.edu.