The competition consists of $10 million in dedicated prize money, and $10 million for business support, marketing and administration. Each year, 76West will distribute a total of $2.5 million in prizes, consisting of a $1 million grand prize, one $500,000 award and four $250,000 awards. Additional support and services may also be available, including mentorship and incubator space.
The name 76West refers to a longitudinal line that passes through the Southern Tier. The competition will run once a year from 2016 to 2019 and will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Winners of 76West will have continued business support for up to two years after the awards are made, and can locate in one of six incubators run by the Southern Tier Start-Up Alliance, which is a coalition of incubators at Binghamton University, Cornell University and the Incubation Works in Alfred, N.Y.
As a condition of the award, recipients from out-of-state must move to the Southern Tier or create a substantial business presence in the Southern Tier. The companies must also maintain that presence for at least two years. Companies already located in New York State must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a connection with the Southern Tier, such as a supply chain, job development with Southern Tier companies, or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that increases wealth creation and creates jobs.