It's the chance of a lifetime for New York students. The sixth annual Business Plan Competition is underway and students could win more than $500,000 in prizes. Barry Wygel caught up with last year's winner, who was able to expand her company's research on glaucoma medication.
It's been one year since Karen Torrejon and her company Glauconix won the New York Business Plan competition.
"The future is bigger than I expected it to be a year ago," said Karen Torrejon, CEO of Glauconix. "The money we got from the business plan competition helped us a lot."
Karen's company uses technology invented at SUNY's Polytechnic Institute and utilizes it to test glaucoma medication for effectiveness. While the average person would be baffled as to where to even start, Karen had a plan.
"We are tightly intertwined with this school. From licensing this technology, to applying for Start-Up New York to just trying to get our lab ready, they are helping us settle here, our headquarters at SUNY Polytechnic Institute," said Torrejon.
Glauconix is applying for the governor's Start-Up New York program while it works through a massive expansion. She says with the help of the program, she sees the future of her company right here in the capital region.
"I think in the future there is a lot of opportunity, which I think a couple years before I didn't see that in the Capital Region as much as I see now that we have Start-Up New York," said Torrejon.
From spending hours in the lab, to meeting with investors, all while trying to finish her thesis, Karen says it's the passion she feels for her work that keeps her going.
"It gets really busy. I stop thinking about how busy it is because if you do, you worry about how busy you are and you actually end up doing nothing," said Torrejon.
It's that passion and drive that Karen hopes will one day lead her to a breakthrough, which will treat or even prevent Glaucoma from occurring.
Applications for the 2015 New York Business Plan are due in the coming months. College students are eligible for a half million dollars in prizes.
For more information on how to enter, visit http://www.sunycnse.com/NewYorkBusinessPlanCompetition/2015Program.aspx.