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 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 Friday, January 11, 2019.

Four semi-finalists— two in each category— will have the opportunity for customized consultations including risk management, finance & sales strategy, marketing & branding, and pitch coaching. The Innovation Challenge pairs each semi-finalist with relevant mentors who can be a help to the business, providing advice and counsel. Additionally, the semi-finalists have the opportunity to network and increase their exposure with influential Hudson Valley companies and organizations! 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!

Watch below to see what last year’s winners, Richard Romano of Screamin’ Onionz and Danny Gonzalez of Facticiti learned from their experience 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.