Alfred University News

AHA! Competition provides students opportunity to ‘pitch’ business proposals

In the third annual AHA! Pitch Competition, scheduled for Saturday, April 1, teams of students from Alfred University, Houghton College, and Alfred State College will present their ideas for creating a new business. Winning teams will be awarded cash prizes, which they can use toward putting their entrepreneurial plans into action.

The competition—titled “AHA” as it involves students from Allegany County’s three institutions of higher education—will be held from 1-3 p.m. April 1 and be hosted by Alfred State College. Alfred University hosted the first two competitions, in 2021 and 2022.

According to organizers, the mission of the competition is to:

  • Bring together the three colleges to work together to move the local economy forward.
  • Cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit in our student population.
  • Retain the talent of our young professionals in Allegany County.
  • Help the growth of small businesses.
  • Provide real-world experiential learning opportunities for students.

Teams of students present their business ideas, with the winning plans determined by a panel of judges. There is $8,500 in cash prizes available; top winners will receive cash toward the launch of their business as well as in-kind donations of professional services. Undergraduate students of any major are welcome to participate. Please email to sign up or get more information. The deadline for registering up is Feb. 10.

To view a video of the 2022 competition, please use the QR code shown in the image above.

The competition is a partnership of Alfred University, Alfred State College, Houghton College, Allegany County, the ACCORD Corp., IncubatorWorks, the Western New York Incubator Network and Western NY Wilds. The Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) at Alfred University and Sealing Devices Inc. are event sponsors. Sealing Devices, a Lancaster, NY manufacturing firm that produces o-rings and gaskets, was founded by late Alfred University alumnus Terry Galanis Sr. ’40, ’19 HD. His son, Alfred University Trustee Terry Galanis Jr.,’19 HD, is company president and CEO.