The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties is launching its second business competition -- the Downtown Start Up Challenge.

Entrepreneurs are invited to submit ideas for new businesses in select districts of downtown Utica or Rome, with the chance to win up to $30,000 in seed funding.

Those accepted in the Downtown Start Up Challenge will receive start up coaching from Mohawk Valley Community College's thINCubator.

The deadline for applications is June 30th.  For more information, visit

Smith Market, the 2016 winner of the Downtown Start Up Challenge, is set to open its doors later this year.  The natural food store and local market will be located  on Main Street in Bagg's Square.

Jim Rondenelli, WIBX
Jim Rondenelli, WIBX

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