Area college student teams celebrate wins in business plan competition

MARCY — Four student teams from SUNY Polytechnic Institute, in addition to two teams comprised of SUNY Poly students collaborating with students from other colleges in the Mohawk Valley region, are celebrating winning in four different categories as part of the 2021 Regional Mohawk Valley Business Plan Competition.

The event took place virtually once again this year, with the winners now invited to compete at the upcoming New York Business Plan Competition.

Notably, one team, “Conch CBD,” founded by SUNY Poly student Nik Hameister and Utica College student William Carroll, received the $2,000 Grand Prize. The company offers topical skin care products infused with a broad-spectrum CBD.

In addition, “Green Gallery,” led by SUNY Poly students Joy Valencia, Kelly Berger, and Nicholas Miller won “Best of the Mohawk Valley,” taking home $1,000 after pitching its online farmers market enabling farmers to reach a variety of consumers. Additionally, the business provides marketing and delivery services to facilitate the interactions between farmers and consumers.

The teams with SUNY Poly students made up a majority of the regional winners:

Conch CBD (Grand Prize; 1st Place – Education & Well-Being)

Green Gallery (Best of the Mohawk Valley; 1st Place – AgTech & Food)

CivilT (1st Place – Software & Services) An opensource, community-based social media company seeking to provide a civil, democratic Facebook alternative. (Founders: Edward McDermid, Jacob Pelerossi)

HAP (2nd Place – Software & Services) Services that provide a well-planned date, whether with friends or family. (Founders: Randolph Butler, Kim Mai, Andrew Thompson)

4Vezza (1st Place – Consumer & Business Products) A company that aims to revolutionize the cosmetology world through an app-based platform connecting service providers and customers. (Founders: Joel Ruiz, Sebastian Sanchez, Tommy Lucas)

Odyssey (2nd Place – Consumer & Business Products) A high fashion streetwear brand. (Founder: Michael Peterson)

All winning teams qualify to continue to the state-level New York Business Plan Competition which will also be held virtually this year. Students have until April 25 to submit recorded business plan pitches.

The top three teams in each track at the finals will be invited to pitch during a live session featuring questions-and-answers with a panel of judges. The final winners are scheduled to be announced at an online ceremony May 7.