Fall 2022 Business Plan Contest showcases student entrepreneurial spirit – SUNY New Paltz News

A campus tradition returned as the fall 2022 semester comes to a close, with both undergraduate and graduate students presenting concepts for startups at the SUNY New Paltz Business Plan Contest.

Students enrolled in all three sections of the Entrepreneurship and Business Planning course (BUS 457) were tasked with drafting a business plan for a potential startup venture, which culminated in a University-wide competition where teams made “Shark Tank”-like pitches in front of an experienced judges’ panel for first- and second-place cash prizes.

This semester’s contest was a strong demonstration of student innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration on campuswhich has only grown in recent years with the creation of our new Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship.

Fifty-six students unveiled a record total of 13 business plans at the start of the semester, and with four making the final cut for presentation four of those ideas were presented at the contest.

“This course has been a very enriching experience,” said Caitlin Washington ’23, who served as the project lead and CEO of first-prize winner JuiceBox. “Not only have I gained new knowledge and experience on how to pitch a product, but I have also developed valuable connections with my teammates.”

First- and second-place winners typically move on to spring’s season Mid-Hudson Regional Business Plan Competition at Marist College, where they compete with other aspiring local student entrepreneurs, but this semester’s contest ended in a twist.

The winning team: from bottom left, Jay Grimaldi ’23 (Finance), Matthew Frederick ’24 (Graphic Design), Yannick Fuchs ’26 (Undeclared), Caitlin Washington ’23 (Management) and Gnat Minerly ’23 (Accounting)

Laptop charging case JuiceBox took the top prize of $3,000 and food service point-of-sale system Beacons followed with the $1,500 cash prize.

All four teams will now advance to the regional competition on March 31, 2023. Should all go well there, finalists will then go head-to-head in New York Business Plan Competition on April 27.

“Professor Napolitano was instrumental in helping us develop our ideas and providing us with the knowledge and skills we needed to succeed,” said Tim Public ’23, who conceived Beacon from his experience at South Korean restaurants during his semester abroad.

“Participating in the regional competition is an exciting opportunity for Beacon because it has the potential to attract the interest of actual investors.”

This semester’s competition judges were Lori Krzeminski, director of business events & marketing at SUNY New Paltz, Apple Bank Management Associate Jake Dougherty, and Motosavvy President Rob Doyle. The event was sponsored by Campus Auxiliary Services.

Learn more online about entrepreneurship opportunities at the SUNY New Paltz School of Business.