Launch It, the college’s annual student entrepreneur competition, returns in late September in an expanded format.

With an overall prize of $2,500 to the top team, and prizes as high as $1,500 for freshman teams, students who have always wanted to develop an idea or project should have fantastic motivation and support, School of Business Dean Prabakar Kothandaraman said.

The competition starts by inviting students to pitch their ideas to their peers, particularly if they want to add team members with specific expertise such as marketing, design, programming or other skills that will strengthen the effort.

Registration is open for students to sign up to present pitches in one of the following time slots: 

  • 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 30, face-to-face, 315 Park Hall
  • (4 p.m.), Friday, Oct. 1, face-to-face, 315 Park Hall
  • (6 p.m.), Friday, Oct. 1, virtual (Zoom link provided upon registration)

Kothandaraman noted that the virtual option previously provided expanded access to the competition, so having this as an initial option might prove helpful.

Making more connections

Alumni mentor virtual office hours in the second week of the competition is a new feature that will benefit students. 

“The expertise our alumni have and their generosity in sharing are some of what make this competition and all of our programs really strong,” Kothandaraman said. “These interactions and the expertise of faculty and alumni underscore the culture of entrepreneurship we are developing at SUNY Oswego.”

With that guidance bolstering their idea and presentation, participants will then have to prepare a two-minute video pitch by mid-October. Faculty will review those videos to determine who continues to the final pitch sessions to judges on Nov. 12.

Students who advance will have additional opportunities to hone their final pitch along the way, including doing practice pitches to students in Oswego’s master of business administration classes. “We think this will be a great experience for the entrepreneurs and the MBA students,” Kothandaraman noted.

The new freshman category is designed to engage student entrepreneurs and those interested in joining these teams earlier in their college experiences. “We’re quite excited about this new category,” Kothandaraman said. “Letting students make connections and build confidence in their ideas early is very valuable.”

Overall prizes are $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second and $500 for third. In addition, any freshmen teams will vie for a $1,000 first prize, with $500 and $250 for second and third, respectively.

Interested students can learn more about the competition and make connections with alumni, faculty, staff and other students on the SUNY Oswego Innovation Community platform on Engage,, or emailing