Innovation Challenge

Calling All Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Visionaries!

Do you have an idea, startup, or existing business that you are ready to take to the next level? Get your business plans ready! Think Dutchess is proud to announce that applications for the second Innovation Challenge are now open!

The Innovation Challenge is an entrepreneurial pitch competition for Hudson Valley residents who have an established business less than 36 months old in Dutchess County, or a pre-venture startup looking to locate in Dutchess and seeking to gain knowledge, support and prizes to further develop your business. We invite you to take advantage of the unique resources Think Dutchess provides to help you launch your business.

Contestants will be required to submit business plan summaries for an opportunity to win big prizes to support their startup including:

  • cash prizes
  • professional business services
  • research, marketing, and promotional guidance
  • networking opportunities
  • invitation to the 2019 Think Dutchess Business Excellence Awards


Apply Here!

*All original ideas, business summaries, and information submitted are completely confidential.

Deadline for entry is December 31st, 2018.

Four semi-finalists, two in each category, will then have access to workshops provided by our sponsors to perfect their pitch. Upon completion, the semi-finalists will compete in front of a live audience and judging panel in the May 2019 competition.  Official rules and entry guidelines can be found here.

To learn more about the Innovation Challenge watch the 2017 event HERE! And stay tuned for a special “where are they now” discussion with our 2017 winners, Richard Romano of Screamin’ Onionz and Danny Gonzalez of Facticiti and learn how the Innovation Challenge can change your business.



A premier business-led organization, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business brings together 10 agencies under one unified vision for one-stop shop site selection, financing, incentives, permitting and advocacy, strategic planning and counseling, marketing and networking.