Brad Sweet ’19 Pitches Successful Business Plan Via Skype to India
A SUNY Potsdam business student, Brad Sweet ’19, won the top prize in the “I-Pitch” global entrepreneurial business plan competition on February 18, 2019—sponsored by St. Joseph’s College of Commerce in Bengaluru, India.
As part of his 20-minute pitch via Skype, Sweet provided details about his business plan to a panel of four judges and 40 other spectators in India. “It was intense! I was so nervous, but I had confidence because I am learning about developing business plans in Dr. Ed Portugal’s business strategy course,” said Sweet.
Sweet’s business plan focused on buying and fixing wrecked supercars from Copart—an auction house that receives wrecked cars from insurance companies. His idea was to buy a wrecked vehicle like a Lamborghini, make a YouTube video of it, stream the vehicle rebuild on Twitch, and then sell the car to a viewer. He would use the money he got from streaming and YouTube to help fund the repair costs. If the car doesn’t sell, he would send it back to the auction house.
“I never expected to win this competition, but I believe it was due to the knowledge I’ve learned from the Department of Business Administration here at SUNY Potsdam,” said Sweet. “Dr. Portugal is one of the professors who has had the greatest impact on my education. The SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration is fantastic and will teach you what you need to know in order to go above and beyond in the world of business,” said Sweet.
Sweet and other students in Portugal’s business strategy course have been developing 100-page business proposals and will make presentations to external judges at the end of the semester. Their capstone course is an intensive experience with teams of business students learning about the business model canvas that integrates what students have learned in all their business courses from previous years.
“Because of the limited time to prepare for the competition, I used the framework from my business strategy class called the business model canvas,” Sweet said. “The business model was really useful in pulling together all aspects of my entrepreneurial business proposal.”
Since 1993, SUNY Potsdam’s Business Administration program has also been sponsoring its own entrepreneurial business plan competition, just recently holding its 51st competition. SUNY Potsdam’s business program has a global reach with professors from all corners of the world and has had partnerships with Kherson State University in Ukraine and the Institute Supérieur de Gestion in Tunisia. Professors in the department have presented business research papers in Australia, England, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Bosnia Herzegovina, China, and Azerbaijan.
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.