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Scholars compete in Shark Tank competition

The atmosphere in the Wyandanch Memorial High School auditorium was electrifying as future scholar entrepreneurs presented their innovative new business elevator pitches to a panel of professionals and local business owners.

For months, the scholars have been developing their business initiatives and refining their business marketing plans under the guidance of school librarian and Introduction to Business teacher Stephanie Sternberg. The scholars had the unique opportunity to experience what it is like to build a business from concept to reality. They tackled key aspects of business development, identified opportunities to develop solutions to improve the environment, identified their target markets while analyzing competition, created company names and logos, developed marketing strategies and financial planning and perfected their pitches.

“I am so proud of our scholars who demonstrated their commitment to achieving their future dreams,” Ms. Sternberg said. “They showed a level of maturity, confidence and professionalism that surpasses their age and experience. I am confident they will be successful as they move into the future.”

To assist the scholars as they perfected their entrepreneurial skills, they were mentored by CEOs and business leaders of several companies from Long Island who provided invaluable guidance and insight including Antony Vero, Aurora Contractors; Adam Friedman, Friedman Vartolo LLP; Eric Hirani, Infinite Consulting Corp.; Anthony Caporrino and Allison Dempsey, Alverez & Marsal; Renee Humphrey, Chase Bank and Stephen Cannone and Delanie Carmen from National Business Capital.

The third annual Shark Tank Competition was sponsored by Gaia Management Advisory, Chase Bank, and Upward Health. This year’s judges included Ms. Nichol King, Chase Bank Executive Director of Community and Business Development, Ms. Geeta Kohli, Chase Bank Executive Director Wealth Management, Mr. Glen Moller, Upward Health CEO and Mr. Daryl Mathews, Wyandanch Memorial High School Principal Mr. Paul Sibblies and Wyandanch Memorial High School alumni and owner of Vidcom Photos.

During the competition the scholars in grades 9-12 shared their new business vision with the hope of winning a monetary award and support to turn their vision into reality. After a fierce competition the following winners were announced: first-place winner of $500 – sophomores Mauricsha Murray and Abigail Argueta Vigil who presented Cusroso a customizable recycled jewelry business venture; second-place winner of $300 senior Zakiya Nicholls who presented Amplify an AI marketing agency for fashion brands and third-place winner of $200 junior Casar Trejo who presented Jukebox a music store and music café. All the remaining competitors also received a monetary award for their presentations.