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05-01-2012

First-year Clarkson University Students Win Top Prize at New York State Business Plan Competition

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/ids2012.jpg .]

When first-year business students Andrew J. Wegner of Farmington, N.Y., Dietrich Diehl of Clarence Center, N.Y., Sean Cheung of Norwich, N.Y., and Christopher Behrens of Rhinebeck, N.Y. entered Clarkson University just nine months ago, they knew one of their classes would require them to start and run a business. But their story will not end with their final grades this semester.

Dietrich Diehl, Sean Cheung, Andrew Wegner and Christopher Behrens celebrate their New York State Business Plan Competition victory. Last week, their team, Innovative Delivery Systems (IDS), was awarded first prize in their category in the third annual New York State Business Plan Competition held at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany.

Competing against more than120 business teams from 25 colleges and universities across New York state, the team came away with $10,000 in cash, and professional services valued at $5,000.

“My fellow judges and I were impressed that the IDS team had identified a clear market opportunity and had successful results with their live beta test,” said competition judge David Hessler. “Many judges expressed surprise that this was an undergraduate team; most of their competitors were from graduate programs.”

IDS created “OrdrIT," a Web application, which allows spectators to access a stadium’s concession menus from their seats without missing the action. The product was used at Clarkson’s Cheel Arena this winter and the IDS team will be meeting with stadium managers throughout New York state this summer to sell their product.

"We will be using the funding to purchase demo receipt printers for our prospective customers, cover expenses such as server payments, and continue the development of our web application,” says Cheung. “As a developing company we have learned a great deal regarding the business start-up process and now with funding we can begin operations.”

The New York State Business Plan Competition was established in 2009 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout New York State’s colleges and universities. The largest competition of its kind in New York, and one of the nation’s biggest, this year’s event drew a record number of entries, with student-led start-ups presenting business plans for innovations in the areas driving the 21st century economy, including nanotechnology, health care, information technology, and clean energy.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption (left to right): Dietrich Diehl, Sean Cheung, Andrew Wegner and Christopher Behrens celebrate their New York State Business Plan Competition victory at last week’s Clarkson University Reh Center Annual Entrepreneur Recognition dinner. Their team, Innovative Delivery Systems (IDS), was awarded first prize in their category in the competition.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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