Local Business Leader Brings New Entrepreneurial Support to Campus Contest 

Now in its tenth year at Farmingdale State College (FSC), the New York State Business Plan Competition (NYBPC) will have a new level of support and entrepreneurial motivation for 2024. Sponsorship by Soter Technologies has transformed FSC’s first NYBPC round into Ram Tank 

Like the popular TV show, Shark Tank, the competition presents a unique opportunity for members of the FSC campus community to showcase their talents and ideas for an esteemed panel of judges.  

“Watching the students present their ideas and concepts is always very exciting,” said Derek Peterson, CEO of Ronkonkoma-based Soter Technologies. “I am very much looking forward to hearing and seeing these great ideas.” 

All participants will receive valuable entrepreneurial development support and expert advice from established industry professionals. Two finalists will receive a cash reward, and up to 12 finalists can receive the opportunity to advance on to NYBPC’s second round, the Long Island Regional Competition, where they will compete against students from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), SUNY (State University of New York) Old Westbury, Stony Brook University, Adelphi University, and Hofstra University. Successful candidates can then compete for larger prizes at the NYBPC State Finals.  

“Everyone just starting out needs support,” said Peterson. “Support can come in the form of mentorship or money. It is extremely hard to do everything by yourself, there is just so much to learn. Now if you can have financial backing and mentoring that is a home run.” 

Ram Tank will take place on the FSC campus on Thursday, March 21, 2024. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 6, 2024. The 2024 NYBPC industry categories are: Safety, Power, & Mobility, Health & Wellbeing, Food & Agtech, Learn, Work, & Play, Products & Hardware, and Software & Services.  

“We are thrilled to partner with Soter Technologies and our generous donor, Derek Peterson, to offer this wonderful campus-wide competition, which encourages the entrepreneurial spirit and professional networking,” said Dr. Richard Vogel, dean of FSC’s School of Business. “Our Ram Tank participants will gain the tools and resources they need to help develop their budding business ventures.” 

“I love working with young talented people and I love entrepreneurs,” said Peterson, “I have been running similar programs at other colleges and they have been very successful. This is just another way to give back to the community.” 

As a teen growing up in Bay Shore, NY, Peterson became fascinated with computers and technology and soon began developing his own software. Also a victim of high school bullying, Peterson is now dedicated to leveraging his knowledge and expertise as a successful engineer and entrepreneur to address complex social, business and community safety challenges. 

“Due to childhood experiences, it was always my goal to be able to give back to the community and society,” he said. “I wanted to create a company and brand that people would identify with safety and security. The Soter name is inspired by Greek mythology, wherein Soter is the personification of safety, deliverance, and preservation from harm.” 

Looking to the future, Peterson plans to continue delivering on that promise. “We are going to continue to create new technologies for the betterment of the world,” he said.  

For more information, or to share your next big idea, please visit Ram Tank’s webpage, FSC’s 2024 New York State Business Plan Competition webpage, NYBPC’s webpage or Soter Technologies’ webpage