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Competition Timeline:

January 22, 2014:

NGI officially begins!

April 11, 2014:

Business Concept Proposal, Cover Application and $25 fee must be submitted via email. Proposals must be no longer than 1,000 words. The proposals will be evaluated by a team of judges.

Please include the $25 application fee along with the Cover Application and Business Concept Proposal. Make payable to Operation Oswego County Foundation, Inc.

Send Cover Application, Business Concept Proposal and fee to:

Operation Oswego County Foundation, Inc.
44 West Bridge Street
Oswego, NY 13126

Submissions may be sent by email to

If Cover Application and Business Concept Proposal are emailed, then admission fee must be postmarked by 5 p.m.

May 2, 2014:

A panel of judges will select semi-finalists for round two.

May 16, 2014:

Applicants will be notified if they are to enter the next round. Candidates that have been selected for round two must complete a business plan.

Sept. 5, 2014:

Semi-finalists are required to submit the full business plan via e-mail or 7 copies by direct mail, to Operation Oswego County Foundation, 44 West Bridge Street, Oswego NY 13126. Submissions must be postmarked by 5 p.m.

Oct. 8, 2014:

Judges will give written feedback to all of the semi-finalists. Finalists will be selected to enter round three.

Nov. 13, 2014:

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 at the Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center.

Guidelines for Business Concept Proposals:

Please note: The prize money must be used to start the business in Oswego County.


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Written Presentation (10 Points):

• Include Cover Application.
• 1,000 words or less (please note: Cover Application does not count toward the 1,000-word limitation).
• Font: Times New Roman; Size: 12 and black ink; Margins: 1 inch on all sides; Spacing: 1½.
• Grammar and spelling will be evaluated.

Business Concept (20 points):

• Introduce company product/service clearly and concisely.
• Describe how the concept is unique and creative (is idea currently offered in the market?).

The Opportunity (25 points): What is the nature of the business opportunity or problem? Why is the opportunity now? What is the potential of the opportunity?

• Clearly identify the need for the product/service.
• Identify the size and potential impact of the opportunity on Oswego County.
• Provide evidence of forces creating the opportunity now.
• Identify how to implement the concept to take full advantage of the opportunity.
• Correctly identify the main competition, stating how this concept will improve or replace current product/services in the market.

Product/Service Description (25 points): How would you describe the business to a potential investor if you had only a short elevator ride to share together? How will your product or service be used? What are some unique features? What existing problem(s) will be solved with the service or product offering?

• Fully explain the purpose and function of product/service.
• Discuss evidence of innovation and unique features. Fully explain benefits of product/service.
• Demonstrate critical thinking regarding opportunity/problem with emphasis on how business idea makes sense currently in Oswego County.

Target Market (20 points):

• Clearly identify the target market.
• Identify the current size of target market (provide demographics).
• Provide innovative and creative ideas for implementing and reaching the identified market.

Contestants may use the services of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SUNY Oswego to obtain market demographics. These services are free and confidential. Phone 315-312-3492 to make an appointment with the SBDC.

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