RvD iPrize

RvD iPrize Logo

The Raymond von Dran (RvD) Fund for Student Entrepreneurship at the School of Information Studies and Compete CNY, the Central New York Business Plan Competition regional qualifier, are joining forces to host a pitch competition for entrepreneurial students at Syracuse University.

$40,000 is available for Syracuse students via the RvD iPrize - awarded to top participants in the competition, held on March 24, 2017.

Compete CNY offers the chance for Syracuse finalists to try for $100,000 in prize money from the New York State Business Plan Competition, and is open to Syracuse University students as well as students from these Central New York institutions: Colgate University, Le Moyne College, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Cortland, Wells College, Cazenovia College, Upstate Medical University, Onondaga Community College, and Cayuga Community College. 

Competition Tracks

Student teams can submit an application for one of the following categories:

  • Information Technology/Software
  • Clean Technology
  • Advanced Technology
  • Products
  • Services
  • Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit.

Teams are required to indicate which category they are applying for on the application and provide a one sentence explanation of why they feel they should compete in the category that they are applying in. Details about these categories are available on the Compete CNY website, and the application is available online.

Note that the Compete CNY contest and the RvD iPrize contest use a single "common application," the NYBPC application, and that by applying to the RvD iPrize you are also automatically applying for the NYBPC.

Events and Competition Preparation

The iSchool and the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University have organized events and workshops to help Syracuse students prepare for the competition.

Event Schedule

  • COMPETITION (Friday, March 24 in the Blackstone Launchpad)

2:30 PM Check-in for judges and participants
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM Pitches
5:00 to 5:30 PM judging deliberation
5:00 to 6:00 PM networking reception for all participants and community members.
5:30 PM announcement of the Regional advancements and SU iPrize winners.
6:00 PM wrap-up and dismissal.

  • The competition event will also feature a Demo Alley, where entrepreneurs will be invited to table in a trade show style format) from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM as a way to show off their products/services, recruit team members, and reach a wider audience.


Faculty Mentorship

iSchool faculty members in the Information Technology, Design, and Startups program and Blackstone Launchpad staff are available to work with and mentor Syracuse students participating in the competition.

Braden Croy, Program Manager at the Blackstone LaunchPad
Michael D'Eredita, Assistant Professor of Practice
John Liddy, Adjunct Professor, and Director, Syracuse Student Sandbox incubator
Marcene Sonneborn, Assistant Professor of Practice

Questions about the iPrize and Compete CNY can be addressed to Braden Croy.


Applications are due on March 15 and available online at the NY Business Plan Competition website. Applicants should read through the process information available on the Compete CNY site before filling out their applications.