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Competition Timeline:

February 1, 2021:

NGI makes formal announcement they will begin accepting Business Concept Proposals for phase one. The NGI committee will accept submissions through April 30, 2021. There are no limits to the number of submissions a company/individual can make, but each must include a $25 application fee.

April 30, 2021:

Business Concept Proposal, Cover Application and $25 application fee must be submitted via email or postmarked by 5 p.m. 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, they must be received by 5 p.m. The admission fee must be postmarked by 5 p.m.

To pay application fee by credit card, use the "Buy Now" button below.

June 3, 2021:

A panel of judges will select up to fifteen semi-finalists for phase two.

June 3, 2021:

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

September 1, 2021:

Semi-finalists are required to submit the full business plan by 5 p.m.

October 4, 2021

Judges will give written feedback to all of the semi-finalists. A group of finalists will be selected to enter phase three.

October 4, 2021:

Finalists will be notified if they are selected to enter phase three. Finalists selected will have to pitch their ideas in a timed presentation format in front of the panel of judges on Friday, November 12, 2021.

November 12, 2021:

Finalists must give a 20-minute oral presentation on their business plan, in person, to the panel of judges. A luncheon and awards ceremony announcing the winner will be held on a date on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

November 16, 2021:

The First, Second and Third Place prizes will be formally awarded after the winning finalists complete Acceptance of Proceeds Agreements, certifying that the funds will be used for the purposes outlined in their business plan and agreeing to provide yearly financial statements to Operation Oswego County Foundation for three years starting in the year funds were received.

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.

Market Concept(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.

Participants 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 315-312-3493 to make an appointment with the SBDC.

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