SUNY Cobleskill alumnus Greg Wilhelm placed second at the 6th Annual New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC), held on April 24, 2015 at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). Positioned against 500 additional student-led teams, Wilhelm made a lasting impression on judges in the products and services division with his business plan for Royal Meadery. Royal Meadery, a company established by Greg, distills mead – a honey-based liquor made largely from honey produced by Greg’s own fifty bees.

Fitted with a business plan for Royal Meadery that he had developed in Dr. Scott Ferguson’s Entrepreneurship class, Greg entered the Mohawk Valley Region Business Plan Competition for the second time on April 10, 2015. As he did the year prior, Greg placed first in the regional competition, receiving a $500 dollar cash prize and access to the state-wide finals. While he placed third in the state finals 2014 –the first time a Mohawk Valley Region team placed in the state competition – this year, Greg placed second.

Looking towards the future, Royal Meadery is one of the five companies to join the SUNY Cobleskill START– UP NY program, where small business owners in these areas will develop internship and employment opportunities for Cobleskill students, allow their company facilities to be used as “external laboratories” for student training, and collaborate with SUNY Cobleskill faculty to create courses relevant to the businesses involved.

From vision to reality, Dr. Scott Ferguson has been a continuous presence in Greg’s endeavors, “Being involved with Greg over the last 16 months while he took this from an Entrepreneurship class project to an operating business venture over has been a real pleasure. An example of the Real Life Real Learning available to students at SUNY Cobleskill.”

Supporting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s blueprint for New York State’s entrepreneurial and high-tech ecosystem, the NYBPC is the leading collegiate business competition, coordinated and collaborated to represent 65 colleges and universities throughout the state. Students pitch their business plans in a variety of sectors that are growing in New York State’s advanced economy, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and clean energy.