SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration recently hosted its 51st Business Plan and Product Prototype Competition, which challenges students to develop an entrepreneurial business plan that fulfills the need of a specific group of consumers. An original idea designed to appeal to college freshmen took home the big prize this semester, according to Professor Dr. Edwin J. Portugal.
The winning team’s product prototype was for a magnetic ID lanyard, designed to help first-year students prone to losing their campus cards. The students in Portugal’s “Strategic and Global Management” course at SUNY Potsdam won out over four other groups with their idea. As part of their presented business plan, the students proposed pilot testing their product in Upstate New York before expanding the product line across the U.S. and even to Europe.
The winning team included Marc Augliano (Watertown, NY), Kelsey Hunsdon (Crown Point, NY), Elizabeth Kim (Brewster, NY), Melissa Moody (Bloomingdale, NY), Timothy Murphy (Walden, NY), Nicolas Salerno (Glen Head, NY) and Illiana Wong (New York, NY).
Forty students in five different teams worked throughout the Fall 2018 semester learning about the “business model canvas,” and integrating what they have learned about business administration. They utilized their understanding of accounting, finance, marketing, management, information systems, business law, human resource management and business strategy in coming up with 100-page business plans. On top of that, they were required to make a 20-minute formal pitch to external judges.
“All five teams presented original ideas, but the magnetic strap product caught the judges’ eyes because they have identified a specific need and came up with a product to fill that need,” said Professor Dr. David Kistler of SUNY Potsdam, who served as one of the judges. “I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these days, one of the hundreds of entrepreneurial ideas introduced over the past several years will hit the big time.”
Other innovative product ideas include a two-sided fleece blanket, a coffee filter made using a 3-D printer, an all-natural maple syrup body scrub, handcrafted bars of soap composed of essential oils, and luminescent hiking trail markers.
All five teams competed for the Team Excellence Trophy, which honors the team that best exemplifies team work, innovative thinking, integration of business concepts and professional business presentation skills.
This fall marked the 26th year and the 51st iteration of the entrepreneurial business plan competition at SUNY Potsdam, which is offered every semester.
SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration offers flexible bachelor’s and master’s degrees in competitive fields, and provides students with an understanding of how for-profit and non-profit organizations function efficiently and effectively. The College offers its business administration programs both at the Potsdam campus and in Watertown, N.Y., at the SUNY Jefferson Higher Education Center. For more information, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS/BusinessAdmin.
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 3,600 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 www.potsdam.edu.