Thursday, 20 September 2018 16:41

“The Next Great Idea” 2018 Business Plan Competition Winner Announced

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Wired Telecom is the winner of the 2018 “Next Great Idea” (NGI) $50,000 Oswego County Business Plan Competition.  Pictured, from left: Ed Alberts of Wired Telecom and Austin Wheelock, Chair of the Next Great Idea steering committee. Wired Telecom is the winner of the 2018 “Next Great Idea” (NGI) $50,000 Oswego County Business Plan Competition. Pictured, from left: Ed Alberts of Wired Telecom and Austin Wheelock, Chair of the Next Great Idea steering committee. Submitted photo

Wired Telecom was named the 2018 “Next Great Idea” (NGI) Oswego County Business Competition winner at a reception held Tuesday, September 18, at The Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center, Oswego.

The company was awarded $50,000 to expand their business in Oswego County.

“It was a great honor to present our fourth NGI award,” said Austin Wheelock, NGI chair and Deputy Director of Operation Oswego County. “Entrepreneurs and small business are the backbone of our economy and the building blocks for growth in our county. We believe that Wired Telecom is an excellent example of this and truly is the ‘Next Great Idea’ for Oswego County.”

Wired Telecom, an early stage company owned by Ed Alberts and headquartered in Oswego, provides standardized IT and communication services focused towards medium and large sized commercial franchise companies nationwide. The business grew out of necessity as Ed’s other businesses could not find a reliable IT service so they developed an in-house solution which proved so successful they believed it could be scaled into a business of its own. Alberts sees great potential for business growth with local company payroll projected to exceed $3,000,000 within 3 years.

“We are thrilled to have been selected for the $50,000 Next Great Idea award and will use it to grow our team with local job opportunities and training for installers and IT support professionals,” said Ed Alberts from WIRED Telecom.  “We would like to thank the committee and sponsors including the Shineman Foundation for bringing the NGI to Oswego County."

The other Finalists for the $50,000 prize were SUNY Oswego graduate student Fabio Machado and his startup company, CHARTA; Matthew Cullipher, of Hope Springs; and Jake Metcalf and Kevin Spillett of Oz Angling.

Master of Ceremonies for the event was Dan Cummings, news anchor for News Channel 9 in Syracuse.

Judges for this year’s event were selected based on their local business knowledge and expertise in the fields of operations, management, financing, and entrepreneurship. Those judges were Chena Tucker of the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations; David Dano of Operation Oswego County, Inc.; Adam Gagas of Breakwall Asset Management; Allison Nelson of the Nelson Law Firm; George Broadwell Jr. of the Broadwell Hospitality Group; Vinny Lobdell Jr. of Healthway Products; Carla Deshaw of Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus; Ron G. Tascarella of Pathfinder Bank; John Fitzgibbons, owner of the Fitzgibbons Agency; Shane Stepien of Step One Creative; and Dr. Sarfraz Mian, professor at SUNY Oswego School of Business.

“The $50,000 prize was raised in partnership with local companies, private banks, business organizations, and public and private institutions that see the importance in making an investment in Oswego County’s future entrepreneurs and economy,” Wheelock said.

Sponsors included the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, Operation Oswego County, the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency, New York Business Development Corporation, SUNY Oswego, Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center, Small Business Development Center at SUNY Oswego, Pathfinder Bank, National Grid, C&S Companies, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Centerstate CEO, Chirello Advertising, and Oswego County Business Magazine.

In addition to Wheelock, the NGI Steering Committee includes Pamela Caraccioli, SUNY Oswego; Steve Chirello, Chirello Advertising; John Halleron, SUNY Oswego Small Business Development Center; Katie Toomey, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce; Evelyn LiVoti, Operation Oswego County; John Trimble, C&S Companies; Tim Stahl, City of Oswego Community & Economic Development Office; and Garrette Weiss, Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation.

For more information, visit the web site at or contact Austin Wheelock by phone at 315-343-1545 or by email at [email protected]

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