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Judges, Entries In For 2010 ‘Next Great Idea’ Business Plan Competition

“The Next Great Idea: 2010 Oswego County Business Plan Competition” (NGI) has secured its panel of seven judges for this year’s entries. Entries for NGI were due May 3 and $25,000 will be awarded to the winner at a November luncheon,” said Austin Wheelock, economic development specialist for Operation Oswego County (OOC).

This year’s judges include: Barbara Bateman, Alliance Bank; Paul Williams, Felix Schoeller Paper; Pam Roach, Hart & Stone General Store; Roy Clark, Dunkin Donuts; Joe Fiumara, Fulton Community Development; Paul Vickery, Vickery Insurance; and Steve Osborne, Fulton Savings Bank.

“Our team of judges will evaluate the executive summaries and up to 5-10 semi-finalists will be selected for round two. These semi-finalists are required to submit a business plan that follows competition requirements by Sept. 6, 2010. The winning team will be selected and announced at a luncheon in November 9, 2010.”

Sponsors for this year’s event include: Fulton Savings Bank, Alliance Bank, New York Business Development Corporation, Pathfinder Bank, Operation Oswego County, Small Business Development Center, National Grid, C&S Companies, Chirello Advertising, and Mitchell Printing.

The event steering committee includes: Austin Wheelock, Operation Oswego County, Event Co-Chair; Larry Perras, Small Business Development Center, Event Co-Chair; Eric Bresee, Oswego County Opportunities; Brian Caswell, Caswell & Associates; Steve Chirello, Chirello Advertising; Beth Hilton, Greater Oswego Fulton Chamber of Commerce; Dan Laird, SUNY Oswego;

Nancy Kush Ellis, Fulton Savings Bank; Dusti Foley, Palladium Times;

Linda Goodness, City of Oswego Community Development Office; John Halleron, Small Business Development Center; Shannon Mantaro, Operation Oswego County; Allison Nelson, Caraccioli & Nelson, PLLC; John Trimble, C&S Companies.

“NGI is the result of business and community leaders joining together to create this competition that encourages entrepreneurs to commit to new business development in Oswego County and offers a $25,000 prize to help make a dream come true,” Wheelock said.

The web site,   www.oswegocounty.org/bizcomp.htm, includes an overview of the event, a competition timeline, guidelines, details on the $25,000 prize, sponsors, partners and contact information.  In addition, the $25,000 can potentially be leveraged to borrow up to $250,000 in partnership with local

banks, the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency, the cities of Oswego and Fulton community development offices, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and other economic development agencies.

The winner will also receive two free submissions to New York’s’ Creative Core $200,000, 2011 Emerging Business Competition.

To assist the semi-finalists, SUNY Oswego’s Office for Business and Community Relations will offer a free optional workshop in June to provide additional support for the business plan submission.

On November 9, the finalists must give a 20-minute presentation on their business plan in-person to the panel of judges. Following the presentation, a luncheon and awards ceremony announcing the winner will be held. The $25,000 prize must be used to start or expand a business in Oswego County.

“Our organizing team believes that Oswego County offers a wealth of resources and opportunities for businesses to start and flourish here. We are all extremely excited to see what great ideas competition participants generate,”

Wheelock said. Media sponsors for the event is Time Warner’s Your News Now (YNN), The Palladium Times, and OswegoCountyToday.Com.

For more information, visit the web site at  www.oswegocounty.org/bizcomp.htm, or Wheelock can be contacted at 315-343-1545 or at  [email protected].