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GCEDC, Start Up Genesee Support Two Dozen Entrepreneurial Ideas at Pitch Competition
BATAVIA – The Start Up Genesee network has spurred the development of over two dozen business plans and the aspiring entrepreneurs who stepped up to the plate at Genesee Community College’s (GCC) annual Business Idea Pitch Competition.
Dr. Lina LaMattina, the director of Business Programs at GCC, organizes the growing event. The Business Idea Pitch Competition saw Start Up Genesee mentors acting as workshop advisors and as “sharks” at the April 30 event.
“This was a huge success as we had almost double the number of participants this year, and the quality of pitches went up dramatically,” Dr. LaMattina said. “The Business Idea Pitch Competition shows that talented entrepreneurs are seeing opportunities to succeed in themselves, their ideas, and their communities.”
In addition to potential consumer goods and products, ideas included services like electronic device restoration, a tiny home property development, and apps to connect musicians with available gigs, and to assist Japanese tourists on visits to New York.
Many of the participants are students at GCC, with participants also bringing ideas developed within the Genesee County.
Melanie Suárez Martínez, who will be graduating as a hospitality management major, was among the GCC students presenting for a second year. She has received positive responses to the business plan, market research, and potential menu for Platanal - a restaurant concept taking advantage of the growing consumer demand for plantains.
“I’m not afraid to put out my ideas, make connections and to use my knowledge,” Suárez Martínez said after her pitch.
Five presenters received financial awards on behalf of Start-Up Genesee after being selected by Chris Suozzi, the Vice President of Business and Workforce Development for the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), and fellow sharks Barb Shine and Doreen Bortle.
The top prizes went to MaryHelen Santacesaria’s Pour Painting 101 kits and Kelly Herold’s Hook Yer Boots clothing organization product.
Suozzi and Business Idea Pitch Competition host Gregory Hallock, Executive Director for GO ART!, encouraged students to take advantage of the of start-up ready spaces, mentors, services and events provided by Start Up Genesee network, including food concept incubators, coworking spaces, small business loans, and business acceleration partnerships.
“There are great opportunities for start-up businesses to grow in Genesee County because we can provide the guidance and support for entrepreneurs to take an idea and develop it into a successful business,” Suozzi said.
The Start Up Genesee network includes the GCEDC, GCC, GO ART!, the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Batavia Development Corporation, LeRoy Business Council, Mancuso Development Corporation, Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District and the Small Business Development Center.
Looking to start or grow a business in Genesee County? Attend any of our upcoming Start Up Genesee events – June 13 Downtown Oakfield Walking Tour; August 15 Harvester Center 60th Anniversary; October 17 Batavia Downtown Revitalization Initiative Hard Hat Tour – or contact Chris Suozzi at (585) 343-4866 to get started today!
The 2018-19 Start Up Genesee program is sponsored by the Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, Freed Maxick, Mancuso Commercial Realty, Lawley Insurance, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Del Plato Casey Law Firm and Mancuso Development Corporation.