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South Side Innovation Center announces 2011 Chase Business Plan Challenge

May 18, 2011

Jaime Winne Alvarez
(315) 443-3834

The 2011 Chase Business Plan Challenge will take place on Friday, May 20, beginning at 6 p.m. at the South Side Innovation Center (SSIC), 2610 S. Salina St., Syracuse. The competition will occur during graduation ceremonies for SSIC clients who have completed business plans and training through the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program at the SSIC Academy. Presentations will begin at 6 p.m. (five minutes of oral presentations and five minutes of Q&A from the judges), with winners announced at 8 p.m., following graduation.

SSIC is the area’s leading small business incubator and training center, launched by Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in April 2006

Chase Business Plan Challenge prizes, underwritten by the law firm of Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith P.C., are $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place and a 3G iPad (second generation, 32G) for third place. Judges for the competition will be 2010 first-place winner Shawan East of East Environmental Group; Veronika Kroos, vice president of business banking for JPMorgan Chase; and Lynn Smith of the Gilberti law firm. Prizes will be awarded to entrepreneurs who completed their business plans through SSIC. With 27 resident tenants, 300 clients and 1,000 people engaged in its classes and training, SSIC is a major force in the redevelopment of the area’s economy.

“We are proud to participate in this superb event at SSIC, and to lend our support to an admirable initiative,” says William Gilberti Jr., managing partner of the Gilberti law firm.

“To have top-flight firms, like JPMorgan Chase and the Gilberti law firm, as partners for this event is an event in itself,” says Thomas Kruczek, executive director of the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at the Whitman School. “Both are strong supporters of entrepreneurship, and of SSIC.” Kruczek also noted that JPMorgan Chase has been a longstanding financial supporter of the incubator, and that partners at the Gilberti law firm have devoted countless volunteer hours to working with SSIC tenants and clients.

As New York’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase has supported the SSIC for several years. JPMorgan Chase is a global financial services firm with assets of $2.2 trillion, operating in more than 60 countries with more than 200,000 employees. JPMorgan Chase is New York’s largest private employer, with more than 33,700 employees working across the state, and serves consumers and small businesses through more than 780 Chase branches and 2,600 ATMs. Last year, Chase provided more than $10 billion to more than 250,000 small businesses and committed to lend $12 billion to small businesses this year. Chase is ranked the No. 1 Small Business Administration (SBA) lender both in the nation and New York. In addition, the firm contributed $150 million in grants to programs that support community development, education and arts and culture.

The Syracuse-based law firm of Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith P.C., formerly known as Lombardi Devorsetz Stinziano & Smith P.C., was established in 1966 when former New York State Sen. Tarky Lombardi Jr., Sidney Devorsetz, Francis D. Stinziano and Lynn H. Smith joined together in private practice in downtown Syracuse. William J. Gilberti Jr. and Joshua H. Heintz joined the firm in 1978 and 1982, respectively. The firm, which still includes Lombardi, now has offices in Syracuse, Albany and New York City. The Gilberti law firm has developed one of the largest environmental practices in the Northeast, regularly representing Fortune 100 and 500 companies and government entities.

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