Operation Oswego County seeks Oswego’s ‘next great idea’

OSWEGO, N.Y — Operation Oswego County is currently looking for the winner of the “Next Great Idea” Business Competition. The contest is looking to bring new business to Oswego County while helping entrepreneurs reach new heights.

“The Next Great Idea” contest started in 2008, and since then, it has helped three residents start businesses of their own.

This is Operation Oswego County’s fourth time hosting the competition. The gaps between the competitions allow the operation to help the winning business get off its feet.

The goal of the competition is to help turn visions into reality, by giving residents the chance to pitch their new businesses ideas to Operation Oswego County. Co-Chair of the contest Austin Wheelock said the competition goes beyond the goal of starting businesses in Oswego.

“It’s about starting new companies. It’s about innovation, and we really see a lot of that in a new business start up,” Wheelock said.

This year’s competition is unique, as the grand prize has doubled from previous years. With a donation from the Shineman Foundation and businesses in town, the winner will walk away with a grand-prize of $50,000.

Although the prize has double since Matthew Vacanti won the “Next Great Idea” in 2014, he said the competition continues to provide residents with the support they need to help make their dreams come true.

“It’s a booster. It helps people like me go from the idea to the real thing and open…put an open sign up,” Vacanti said.

The three phase competition has already begun. Enrollment for the competition is currently open and will close March 1.

The competition’s website http://www.oswegocounty.org/NGI/index.htm includes application guidelines, deadlines and contact information.