Students Use Their Business Ideas to Compete for Cash

On Friday, April 19, more than 100 high school and college students convened at Jefferson Community College (JCC) for its annual Entrepreneurship Conference that featured keynote speakers including a local entrepreneur who shared his experience and advice, business concept competition presentations and awards for high school and college students with cash prizes totaling $2625. During the program, students had the opportunity to meet a variety of North Country entrepreneurs of Beyondnerd, The Spicy Wench, 4-Paws Bakery, Coyote Moon Vineyards and others at a business expo coordinated by the JCC Business Club.   

Students from Edward Knox Central School, Indian River High School, Lyme Central School, Watertown High School, Copenhagen Central School, Lowville High School, and Jefferson Community College attended the program. Keynote addresses were given by James Matteson, Jefferson County Agriculture Economic Developer, and North Country entrepreneur Johnny Spezzano, owner of Yo Johnny! Frozen Yogurt.

One team each from Indian River High School, Watertown High School and Edward-Knox Central School advanced from the business concept competition preliminary round, held earlier in the week, and presented to a panel of judges during the Entrepreneurship Conference. In first place, Foreign Language Courses, by Watertown High School students Tian Chen and Bermet T. Abaibekova earned a $500 cash prize and a one year membership to the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce. Foreign Language Courses is a business concept specializing in education of more than seven foreign languages. In second place, Shape It Up by Indian River High School students Abigail N. Lynch, Shannon L. Guler and Aaron S.W. Johnson, earned a $250 cash prize. Shape It Up is a business idea built on the premise of personal training home delivery and site location. In third place, HKH Health and Fitness Center, by Edward-Knox Central School students Kiana A. Coffey, Hanna Hansen and Harleigh D. LeBarge earned a $125 cash prize. Business concept HKH Health and Fitness Center would offer the nuts and bolts of any fitness center along with specialized classes and physical training.  

During the business concept competition for Jefferson Community College students held earlier in the month, Lakeffect Winery by David W. Countryman, of Watertown, came in first place receiving a cash prize of $1000 and a one year membership to the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce. In second place, Whip-Poor-Will Designs by Jaime L. Barton, of Clayton, earned a cash prize of $500.  Castorland by Karen A. Castor, of Redfield, came in third place earning a cash prize of $250.

JCC’s entrepreneurship program is jointly organized by representatives of JCC and the Small Business Development Center in addition to business competition sponsors- Jefferson Lewis Workforce Investment Board, Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency and the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce. Additional conference sponsors are Sam’s Club and the JCC Business Club.

Event photos are compliments of Monarch Photography, Evans Mills.


During a business concept competition for Jefferson Community College students held earlier in the month, Lakeffect Winery by David W. Countryman, of Watertown, came in first place receiving a cash prize of $1000 and a one year membership to the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce.

 


Foreign Language Courses, by Watertown High School students Tian Chen (left) and Bermet T. Abaibekova (right), came in first place earning a $500 cash prize and one year membership to Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce.



(l-r) Shape It Up, by Indian River High School students Abigail N. Lynch, Shannon L. Guler and Aaron S.W. Johnson, came in second place earning a $250 cash prize.



(l-r) In third place, HKH Health and Fitness Center, by Edward-Knox Central School students Harleigh D. LeBarge, Kiana A. Coffey, and Hanna Hansen, earned a $125 cash prize.