Panasci Business Plan Competition

Panasci Business Plan Competition

The Panasci Business Plan Competition is a campus-wide student business plan competition hosted by the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship and made possible by long-time Whitman School supporter, the late Henry A. Panasci, founder of Fay's Drugs.


The Panasci Business Plan Competition is a campus-wide student business plan competition made possible by long-time Whitman supporter, the late Henry A. Panasci, founder of Fay's Drugs.


 Competing gives collegiate entrepreneurs real-world experience to pitch their startups, enhance their business strategy and learn what it takes to launch a successful company.


The competition is open to students at Syracuse University. Applicants will write and submit a business plan for the chance to advance to the finals on April 14th, 2023. With more than $40,000 in cash prizes, this competition is a great opportunity to compete for seed funding for your business (or idea).

To submit your business plan, click here

Key Dates


Jan. 30, 2023, 7 - 8 p.m.: Second info session, Q&A to learn about the competition and hear from past winning teams: Zoom link here.


Jan. 31, 2023, at midnight, submit your expression of interest (not compulsory to compete but useful to stay up to date). Link here.


Feb. 18 -19, 2023, EEE458 Weekend Course to learn how to write a business plan (1 credit). Not a pre-requirement to compete, but useful to write a better business plan. For information about the course email Ken Walsleben at


March 20, 2023,   7 - 7:30 p.m.: Orientation session. Zoom link here.


March 26, 2023, Midnight
The deadline to submit your business plan is March 26, 2023 at midnight. If you are ready to submit your business plan click here and follow the instructions.


April 14, 2023, Panasci Business Plan Competition finals.


How to Write a Business Plan



The Team leader must be a full-time or part-time matriculated student, undergraduate or graduate level, who is currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree program, and who is registered at Syracuse University. Other team members can be non-SU students or community members.

Ideas submitted as part of a team's new business venture must represent the original work of the team members.

If the new venture has already received funding from any outside sources (angel investors, other competitions, etc.), amounts, investors and dates of funding must be disclosed in the initial entry – funding must not exceed $100,000.

Prize money is granted only to the business entity that the winning team forms, e.g. a corporation or LLC.

If you do not have a team and are interested in collaborating with others (adding teammates with other skills) for the Panasci Business Plan Competition, send an email to Linda Dickerson Hartsock ( or Indaria Jones (, and they will get in touch with you.


Overview and Judging

The Panasci Business Plan Competition rewards both the innovativeness of the idea and the quality of the plan, including innovative thinking regarding new markets, products and services, coupled with the ability to strategize on how to make it happen.



Rules and Regulations 


View the rules and regulations of the annual competition.


To Submit Your Business Plan, click here

Henry A. Panasci

The competition is made possible by Henry. A. Panasci’s entrepreneurial success and spirit.
The Panasci Business Plan Competition is made possible through a gift from the late Henry A. Panasci, Jr., founder of Fay's Drugs and former chairman of Cygnus Management Group, a venture capital and management consulting firm in Syracuse, New York.


Panasci's entrepreneurial spirit dates back to his youth, when, at the age of 7, he started helping out in the family drugstore in Rome, New York. After earning two undergraduate degrees from the University of Buffalo, he went to work for his uncle in the family drugstore, Carl's Drugs. Three years later, Panasci became sales manager at Brown-Jones Company. Returning to Central New York in 1958, he co-founded Fay's Drugs with his father.


Eventually, Panasci built a retail drugstore chain that grew to more than 250 stores in four states. Fay's also operated Wheels Discount Auto and Paper Cutter stationery, and office supply chains. By 1996, Fay's Incorporated, then a publicly traded company, had revenue of more than $1 billion and about 9,000 employees. The company was sold to a national retail chain, and Panasci left to start Cygnus Management Group.