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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Helps Student Entrepreneurs Showcase Their Best


Media Relations

February 24, 2015

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Helps Student Entrepreneurs Showcase Their Best

Lally School of Management at Rensselaer To Host Annual Business Model Competition – Where Innovation Meets Motivation

Troy, N.Y. — To transform a good idea into a great product, service, or solution requires many factors, including a supportive environment to foster that growth. Local college students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are finding just that as they turn their ideas into a viable business. To support this endeavor, the Rensselaer Lally School of Management will host its fourth annual business model competition for undergraduate and graduate students on Feb. 25. This year, nine student teams will have an opportunity to pitch their product or software ideas to a panel of judges comprised of community members and alumni/ae with varying backgrounds in entrepreneurship and business.

“The Lally School is a pivotal destination for many students at Rensselaer who excel at entrepreneurial skills, innovation, and leadership and are interested in starting a journey to create a business,” said Thomas Begley, dean of the Lally School. “This annual competition helps them bring their ideas to the next level and compete for both cash prizes and in-kind services. The highly experienced group of entrepreneurs who serve as coaches and judges encourage these students to believe that starting a business is within their reach.”

The one-day competition will take place on the Rensselaer campus from 4 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Darrin Communications Center, Room 330. First prize is $8,000, second prize is $5,000, and third prize is $2,000.  Sponsors include the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship; Bob Godgart ’82, serial entrepreneur; the law offices of Heslin, Rothenberg, Farley & Mesiti, P.C.; and the Rensselaer Center for Future Energy Systems.

The goal for the Rensselaer Business Model Competition is to provide student entrepreneurs with the opportunity to improve their business through customer interviews, coaching, feedback, and live practice sessions in preparation for the myriad competition opportunities held annually each spring across the nation and globally.

“This business model competition operates from the fact that the best way to learn entrepreneurship is by engaging in the best practices of being an entrepreneur. Therefore, the students must go outside of campus and speak with customers in order to understand their needs and make sure they are developing the right product,” said Jason Kuruzovich, academic director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship.

Some of this year’s student business model ideas include:

  • a new communication channel between schools and parents that will track the spread and location of infectious/contagious diseases.
  • a biomedical device aimed to produce highly representative in vitro tissues, to support vascular endothelial research, including research involving the blood-brain barrier.
  • an eco-friendly shower attachment that utilizes the distance between the device and the person showering in order to control the flow of water.
  • a handgun locking system mechanism that allows a bullet to be chambered while locked.

In its fourth year, the annual competition is also sponsored by the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship, which helps to foster new generations of budding and successful entrepreneurs through outreach programs, education, and support systems. Centered in the Lally School, the Severino Center lies at the core of the Lally School commitment to entrepreneurship, providing a broad-based platform for entrepreneurs to make the transition from concept to company.

For more information about the Lally School of Management, visit

For more information regarding the Rensselaer Business Model Competition, visit:

For more information about the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship, visit


Julie K. Tracy

Lally School of Management

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute                     

Office: (518) 276-3053

Mobile: (518) 723-0082




Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications

(518) 833-4277

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.