UB’s Bright Buffalo Niagara seeking applicants for $25K entrepreneur pitch competition

Keynote address to be presented by Bill Rancic, NYT bestselling author, winner of NBC’s “The Apprentice”

Release Date: February 29, 2016


BUFFALO, N.Y. – Applications are open for the seventh annual Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo, which will be held on June 15 at the Hotel @ The Lafayette, 391 Washington St., Buffalo.

Since 2009, the University at Buffalo Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT) and UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) have led Bright Buffalo Niagara, which connects promising industry startups and business ideas with the funding sources that help them prosper.

“It is important that we have impactful entrepreneurial programming throughout the year,” said Norma Nowak, PhD, executive director for the CBLS. “By moving Bright Buffalo Niagara to June, this will ensure that the spotlight remains on entrepreneurism year round.”

The keynote address for the Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneurship Expo will be presented by Bill Rancic, New York Times bestselling author and winner of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” who will discuss how entrepreneurs can use challenging times to their advantage and how to think like an entrepreneur to enjoy a more productive, motivated workforce.

Highlights from this year’s event also will include an investor luncheon, entrepreneur tradeshow and cocktail reception.

In addition, five entrepreneurs will present five-minute live pitches, with the winner receiving a cash prize of $20,000 and a half hour one-on-one mentoring session with Rancic, and 30 entrepreneurs will present 90-second live pitches, with the winner receiving a $5,000 People’s Choice prize.

“This is a special year for Bright Buffalo Niagara,” said Nowak. “The prize money will elevate Bright Buffalo Niagara and provide our hungry startups another level of entrepreneurial support.”

The submission process opens Feb. 29. To enter the Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo, individuals and teams must complete the application  before 11:59 p.m. EST on April 18. A vetting committee will review each submission. All applicants will be notified by May 25.

In addition to live pitches, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas and engage with potential mentors, collaborators and investors during the Entrepreneur Tradeshow.

Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo 2016 is sponsored by Superior Group, the Western New York Incubator Network (WIN), Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Buffalo Business First, Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP and National Grid.

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