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Business Plan contest includes BC winner, competitors

Filed in Student Spotlight by on May 30, 2017

Bethlehem senior and student entrepreneur Anthony Amato recently won a special award from the Center for Economic Growth’s New York State High School Business Plan Competition held May 24 at Siena College.

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The high school business competition requires individual students or teams to develop a unique and innovative business concept and prepare a ten-minute presentation that would inspire potential investors to provide seed money to support the students’ business concept. Teams receive feedback from members of the community as well as academic and business leaders that helps prepare students for future opportunities.

Amato was awarded Best Positioning Statement for his New York DesignScapes business plan. New York DesignScapes is a company run by Amato which connects freelance graphic artists with businesses looking to hire designers for project-based work.

Underclassman Boyang Zhou, Srinidhi Chari, and Govind Chari also worked as a team to submit a business plan. Their plan involved an enterprise called BSG Industries which would utilize the enzyme AHL lactonase to disrupt microbial communication. The disruption would prevent the formation of biofilm that can lead to water contamination and dental plaque. 

The Bethlehem students competed against more than 30 presenters from across New York and New Jersey at the event.

Business teacher Kevin Fottrell, who volunteered to help the BCHS students prepare for the competition, said he was pleased with both Bethlehem business proposals. The group met regularly after school from February through May to practice and refine the presentations. Mr. Fottrell also brought in private business consultants Bruce Toyoma and Alek Hudeck from IGNITE U in Troy to review the students’ proposals prior to the competition.

It was the first time students from Bethlehem competed in the business contest, Fottrell said.

“As a first year advisor it is difficult to know how the judges are going to score,” said Fottrell. “Our students’ hard work showed in their presentations and especially in the question-and-answer session from the judges.”

The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is the premier economic development organization in New York’s Tech Valley with more than 200 members representing business, government, education, and the not-for-profit sectors.