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SUNY Potsdam Business Administration Students Win Campus Entrepreneurial Competition

June 4, 2024
Strategic and Global Management Students at SUNY Potsdam Take Home Prize in College Competition 

From left, the winning team in the SUNY Potsdam Strategic Business Plan Competition posed with Professor Dr. Ed Portugal, including Yeremi Gomez, Dan Schaeber, Portugal, Mamadou Kante, Destiny Snyder and Nasierra Daniels.

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration recently hosted its 60th Business Plan Competition, which challenges students to develop an entrepreneurial business plan fulfilling the need of a specific group of consumers.  

Three teams in the capstone Strategic and Global Management class spent the spring semester developing a business plan and original product pitch, starting from scratch. The competition was introduced in 1993 by Professor Dr. Edwin J. Portugal to give business administration students the opportunity to work intensively and collaboratively in teams to create a real-life business plan. The teams present their final strategic business plans in front of external judges, who take the role of venture capitalists. 

This semester’s winning team included: 

  • Nasierra Daniel of Brooklyn, NY 
  • Dan Schaeber of Liverpool, NY 
  • Mamadou Kante of New York, NY 
  • Yeremi Gomez of Bronx, NY 
  • Destiny Snyder of Potsdam, NY 

The team won for their business idea for a shower head with built-in dispensers for shampoo, conditioner and body wash, including motion sensors. They built a test model of their product, which they dubbed “Cleanflow,” using 3D printing technology at the Lougheed Learning Commons. 

“The Strategic Business Plan Competition is a culmination of many years of hard work that have defined our students' experiences at SUNY Potsdam. Our students' rigorous academic preparation is displayed through their teamwork in bringing a project of this scale to fruition, their creativity in formulating a new and novel idea, and their confidence in presenting to their peers, professors and outside practitioners,” said Dr. Allen Grant, dean of SUNY Potsdam’s School of Education and Professional Studies. “There is no doubt that each of our competing students will carry these applied experiences with them to the workplace and graduate school.” 

Students were randomly assigned to teams at the start of the semester, with members bringing different sets of skills to the table. In creating the business plans, students learn to set goals, come up with a realistic schedule, develop a team contract of expectations, own up to their responsibilities and be accountable to the team.  

The teams’ strategic business plans integrate the business students’ understanding of the business functional areas of accounting, finance, management, marketing, information systems, legal environment, human resource management, and operations management. The Business Model Canvas is used as the theoretical framework.  

“Students experience the stimulation of working in teams, the exhilaration of innovative thinking, the excitement of public speaking, and the challenges of coordinating team members’ unique talents,” Dr. Portugal said.  

External judges were invited to review the business plan portfolios, product prototypes, PowerPoints and scripts, and evaluated the team presentations. The panel included three faculty members, including Assistant Professor of Business Administration Michael Decker, Professor and Chair Dr. Shalu Wunnava, and School of Education and Professional Studies Dean Dr. Allen Grant. The student panelist was Jordan Fisher ’24, a senior business administration major and previous winner of the competition, who also owns CSW Trading, a company focused on education for trading futures and options. The final judge was Susan Portugal (Hon. ’23), who recently retired as a senior research scientist for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The teams were all mentored by Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alan Hersker. 

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration prepares students for fulfilling and successful careers, with flexible undergraduate and graduate programs offered both online and in person in Potsdam and in Watertown. For more information, visit 

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit 

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