Launch Your Business!

Compete for funding. Win much more. 

Monroe Community College and the MCC Foundation are pleased to announce Launch Your Business!, an opportunity for MCC students from all disciplines to turn a great idea into a successful business for Greater Rochester. Are you an MCC student with a great idea for a new business? Would money and a personal mentor help you get started? Apply by March 2, 2018 to present your idea at Scholars’ Day and compete for the support you need to Launch Your Business!

Made possible by generous supporters of the MCC Foundation, Launch Your Business! is a new addition to Scholars' Day (beginning 2018). Students who pitch their business idea in Launch Your Business! are eligible to compete for start-up capital, exclusive access to business mentors, plus a scholarship to MCC Corporate College's Launch Your Business! Certificate Series next summer. The top presenters will be invited back to compete for additional funding opportunities next fall.

To present in Launch Your Business! on April 11 at the Downtown Campus or April 14 at the Brighton Campus, complete this separate application: Apply now to Launch Your Business!

  • Be sure to identify your MCC faculty mentor on the application.
  • Eligible presenters will be notified via email.
  • For additional information, contact:


Launch Your Business! FAQ:

Q: Why was Launch Your Business! added this year?
A: The initiative is made possible thanks to generous supporters of the MCC Foundation who want to inspire MCC students to start their business in Greater Rochester and contribute to local economic development.

Application Process

Q: Is there a fee for presenting my business idea at Scholars’ Day?
A: There is no application fee to present at Launch Your Business!

Q: What is the deadline to register for Launch Your Business!?
A: All applications must be received by March 2, 2018 for this year’s competition.

Q: Who is eligible to apply to present in Launch Your Business! at Scholars’ Day?
A: Current MCC students who have submitted completed Launch Your Business! applications by March 2 are eligible to present. Individuals or groups are welcome to present their ideas. Eligible presenters will be notified via email.

Q: Can a student present at Launch Your Business! and compete for additional scholarships at Scholars’ Day?
A: Yes. Students may present their scholarly work AND present their new business idea separately in Launch Your Business! at Scholars’ Day. Each presentation requires a separate application.

Q: Will information sessions be hosted to learn more about Launch Your Business!?
A: Yes. Information sessions will be hosted during February 2018. The sessions will be promoted by the School of Business & Entrepreneurial Studies in the Student Tribune and on myMCC.

Q: What types of business ideas will the judges be looking for?
A: Judges will be looking for original, well-developed business ideas that will benefit Greater Rochester. Business ideas for all academic disciplines are welcome (biology, culinary arts, engineering, fine arts, human services, information technology, liberal arts, etc.). Business ideas may be marketable to consumers and/or businesses. (Awards cannot be used to open a chain store or business.)

Q: Who should I contact with questions?
A: Send your questions to 

Presentation Process

Q: Will all presentations be open to the MCC community and general public?
A: Yes. As is MCC’s tradition, Scholars’ Day presentations are free and open to the public.

Q: How long will I/my group have to present?
A: Presenters have a maximum 10 minutes to present. A brief question and answer period will follow each presentation.

Q: When and where will the presentations be held?
A: The official Scholars’ Day schedule will be available online. Presentations will be held at MCC’s Downtown and Brighton campuses on Wednesday, April 11 and Friday, April 14 respectively.

Q: May I present my idea using software such as PowerPoint? 
A: Yes. Presentations will take place in smart classrooms on MCC’s Brighton or Downtown campuses.

Q: What criteria will be used by the judges?
A: Judging criteria will be confirmed in February. Please check back.


Q: How will prizes be announced?
A: Prize winners will receive an invitation to the Scholars’ Day luncheon on Monday, April 16 at the Brighton Campus. Prizes will be announced at the luncheon.

Q: How will awards be distributed?
A: For top presenters, awards will be applied directly to their MCC student account. Group presenters will split the awards and will need to identify one representative to attend the MCC Corporate College series.  

Q: How many prizes will be awarded for Launch Your Business!?
A: Up to six prizes totaling $7,700, will be awarded to top student presenters at the Scholars’ Day Luncheon on April 16. Awardees will also receive an exclusive seat at the Launch Your Business! Certificate Series hosted by MCC Corporate College, July 10, July 24, and August 7, 2018. Awardees will have the opportunity to further develop their business idea with an experienced mentor and compete for additional funding awards—totaling up to $50,000—at MCC’s Entrepreneurship Day in November 2018.