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Student Teams Heading to New York Business Plan Competition State Finals

Posted: April 12, 2013


Front row seated left to right: Assistant Professor of Business Alexandra Henderson, Cupcake Jar Team student member Stacey Walters, Cupcake Jar Team student member Kristina Walters; standing left to right: Assistant Professor of Accounting and Business Laurence K. Zuckerman, Instructor of Technology Jeremy Spraggs, CORE Team student member Chris Pabis, CORE Team student member Chris Renda, CORE Team student member Jeff Reed, FM President Dr. Swanger, Dean of Business, Technology, and Health Professions Diana Putnam, and Professor of Electrical Technology Rich Prestopnik

Two teams of Fulton-Montgomery Community College students participated in the Mohawk Valley Regional Collegiate Business Plan Competition hosted by SUNY IT on April 10. College students from across our region were given the opportunity to present innovative business ideas as budding entrepreneurs. Both FM teams were selected to advance to the fourth annual New York State Business Plan Competition on April 26.

Chris Pabis of Amsterdam, Jeff Reed of Broadalbin, and Chris Renda of Gloversville, all Electrical Technology majors at FM, presented a business concept they dubbed “The CORE (Convenient-Original-Reusable-Energy) Group,” described as a limited liability corporation with three principle shareholders who consist of CEO Pabis, COO Reed, and CFO Renda. According to the students, The CORE Group is re-inventing the everyday household with energy efficient solutions and products that utilize modern technology marketed to the common household at a low cost. Their proposal includes the marketing of a product they named the “AquaAid,” a premiere product which transforms the outdated and inconvenient measuring cup into a hands-free attachment for kitchen faucets and filters, displays the temperature of ordinary tap water, and measures in both metric and English units. The AquaAid would make life simpler and more convenient during everyday menial tasks. The CORE Team competed against nine other teams in the broad categories of Energy/Sustainability, Information Technology/Software, Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit, Biotechnology/Healthcare, and Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology. They were one of five teams selected to advance to the State Competition.

Sisters Kristina and Stacey Walters of Broadalbin, both business majors at FM, presented their business proposal for “The Cupcake Jar” whose mission is to provide quality, flavor filled cupcakes to a diverse customer base including those with special dietary needs. The bakery business will offer a unique and diverse product line tailored to customer’s wants and needs, a ready-made selection of cupcakes as well as those which can be frosted by the customer, gluten-free cupcakes, internet base ordering, and in-store cupcake parties. They are the only cupcake bakery sensitive to the dietary needs of customers offering a full gluten-free line. Of the twelve teams in the Products/Services Food and Beverage Division, the Cupcake Jar team was the top selection of the two teams chosen to move on to the State Competition.

The competition required the students to make a 10-minute presentation to a panel of judges and “investors” followed by a 5-minute question-and-answer period. Twenty other teams from SUNY IT, Morrisville State College, Utica College, and SUNY Cobleskill, participated in the regional competition. FM was the only two-year college in this regional competition; the two teams will advance to the final state-wide competition at CNSE’s Albany Nanotech on April 26, 2013.

“I am so very proud of these students and congratulate them on this extraordinary accomplishment. I also congratulate the faculty and staff who worked with both teams in preparing them for this day. It’s a pleasure to work with such dedicated professionals,” said Dr. Swanger.

According to the New York Business Plan Competition website, since 2010, over 140 student teams from 25 of New York’s colleges and universities have pitched their venture at the NYBPC. At the end of 2012 competition, more than $310,000 in cash and prizes have been awarded to student entrepreneurs in New York.


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