News in Cortland NY

Local Business Idea Competition

Seventy students from SUNY Cortland, TC3, and Cortland County high schools submitted essays for the annual 40Below Cortland Presents: Local Business Idea Competition for a chance to win $1,000.   In its third year, the initiative is part of a regional effort to promote young entrepreneurs and young professionals.  This year’s competition was organized through a collaborative effort of the Cortland Downtown Partnership (CDP), SUNY Cortland’s Center for Economic Education (CCEE), and 40Below Cortland members to encourage entrepreneurial activities for the CDP’s Business Innovation Center.  As a part of this regional effort, all of the entrants to the local competition were also eligible to receive an additional $5,000 individual awarded through the Syracuse Creative Core competition.

“The 40Below Cortland Presents: Local Business Idea Competition represents the creative process and networking that will be used in the programming at the Cortland Downtown Partnership’s Business Innovation Center that is currently under development…It’s a great way to bring out entrepreneurial minds from the local area and also a wonderful precursor to next years’ entrepreneurship classes,” said Mike Reilly, Co-President of the Entrepreneurship Club at SUNY Cortland.  The Business Innovation Center is also a collaborative project between the CCEE, the CDP, and advocates of Cortland County’s economic development.

Finalist’s videos are on display now for public viewing and voting at the Cortland Downtown Partnership, 9 Main Street Monday through Friday 10a.m.-3p.m. This year’s finalists include SUNY Cortland students Alyssa Gehrhardt, Bryan Mulcahey, Caitlin Visker, Matthew McNamee, Michael Reilly, William Smith, Nicholas Vernola. 

The community is encouraged to attend the final competition on May 3 at 6 pm at Main Street SUNY Cortland at 9 Main Street.  The 2-3 minute video pitches will be presented with each finalist present to answer questions asked by this year’s panel of judges: SUNY Cortland President - Erik Bitterbaum, owner and President of Hage Real Estate - Neb Hage, and local business owner and Cortland County Chamber of Commerce Board Member - Jodie Wainwright.  Special guest speakers will include Mayor Brian Tobin and Garry VanGorder, Executive Director of the Cortland County Business Development Corporation-Industrial Development Association.  The 40Below Cortland Presents: Local Business Idea Competition $1,000 award winner will be announced at the conclusion of the evening after light refreshments.

Find the Cortland Downtown Partnership and the 40Below Cortland Presents: Local Business Idea Competition event page on Facebook for more information all downtown news and activities.  Contact Adam Megivern of the Cortland Downtown Partnership at 607.753.4928 for additional information or with any questions.