Albany software company hosting student video contest to foster technology innovation and convince students to stay in the Capital Region after graduation.
In an effort to identify top talent and keep college graduates in the area, Tech Valley software company CommerceHub will award $10,000 in scholarships to two local students who best exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit.
CommerceHub, an Albany-based merchandising and fulfillment software platform for the largest online retailers in North America, launched its scholarship program this year to identify students who best embody the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. Each student will receive a $5,000 scholarship and paid internship. To enter, applicants must produce a video that demonstrates vision, out-of-the-box thinking, an ability to see past obstacles, unbridled energy, leadership and passion.
Frank Poore, founder and CEO of CommerceHub, said the scholarship program is aimed at keeping local college students in the Capital Region where they can start new companies and contribute to a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Every year, the Capital Region unfortunately says goodbye to thousands of graduating college students, and many of these bright minds leave for where they believe the big opportunities exist – Boston, New York or Silicon Valley,” Poore said. “CommerceHub will strive to play a part in convincing smart and creative young adults to stay here in the Capital Region — a thriving tech hub that provides opportunity for success.”
The program is open to students in any major or field of study, and winners will be selected based upon their creativity and big thinking rather than GPA or other traditional criteria. The scholarship is available to all juniors, seniors and graduate students who attend an accredited college or university in the Capital Region or who are permanent residents of the Capital Region and attend an accredited college or university elsewhere. In their video submissions, students should demonstrate how they possess the traits of an entrepreneur by sharing their experiences, ideas and aspirations.
Last year, CommerceHub enabled nearly $7 billion in online sales by linking the top online retailers – including QVC, Staples, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and others – with more than 8,000 suppliers that ship products directly to consumers. The company now employs 200 people and is one of the fastest-growing ecommerce platforms in the industry.
“To spur innovation in this area, we need smart and creative college students to understand that success really can happen here,” added Poore. “Silicon Valley is a center of innovation because it feeds on itself. College students grow up seeing people make millions working for and starting other companies, so they figure, ‘Hey, I could be next.’ We want to find these individuals and let them know that if they have the right ideas and the wherewithal to make things happen, there are real advantages of doing it in the Capital Region.”
Applicants must create a video and complete the application form by May 16, and winners will be announced on May 30. Rules and guidelines can be found on the company’s website. To view the application form, visitcommercehub.com/scholarship.
Erik Morton, VP Marketing
Jalinda Franke, HR Manager