AP Economics class presents plans for new area businesses

MARCH 28, 2017
Students in Darren VanHeusen’s AP (Advanced Placement) Economics class presented ideas for new local businesses – everything from a mobile hair cut operation to a fresh food option for office workers – complete with plans to grow their businesses in the coming years.

They also had to present their plans to administrators, who VanHeusen dubbed the “sharks” who would critique each proposal. The administrators judging the students were: Karen Swain, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction; High School Principal Peter Bednarek; Assistant High School Principal Thomas Fyvie; High School Dean of Students Sarah Cioffi; High School Library Media Specialist Elizabeth Fawcett; Business Department Chairman Michael Parks; and GIVE Coordinator Bruce Kohout.

“They are pretty “geeked up” (that’s not an insult to AP students) about trying to convince you they are the next big thing,” VanHeusen told the “sharks” before the presentations.

He asked the “sharks” to use this criteria for judging:

  1. Originality / Uniqueness –  Evaluate each plan with regard to original thought and concept uniqueness.  Will this business fill a void in the market?
  2. Profitability / Viability –  Consider the information presented and determine if the plan has the potential to be profitable.  In your opinion, is this a viable business?
  3. Marketing / Branding – To what extent did the group convince you they were marketing their business appropriately.  Which group appeared to create a solid brand image?
  4. Presentation Effectiveness –  In the short time given, which group communicated the most effectively?  Were your questions answered sufficiently?
  5. Your “Gut” –  Go with your instincts and rank the business plans in order of personal preference.  Basically, which one do you think will be most successful, even if you can’t put your finger on why?

Here is a summary of the business ideas presented by the Scotia-Glenville students:

Group Name: Grab Fresh

Members: Natasha Cotrupi, Katelin Barrera and Olivia Powhida

Concept: Grab Fresh would offer healthy lunch and snack options for businesses that lacked a cafeteria or suitable options nearby. They focused on clean foods (sandwiches, fruit cups, etc) made freshly every day to the customer’s wishes. Ideally their business would seek out companies with at least 150 employees.

Group Name: College Cuts

Members: Joe Rumfelt, Brendan McCarthy, Eric Almond and Jake Pollicino

Concept: College Cuts proposed a mobile barber shop to focus on haircuts to college men at upstate NY colleges (Clarkson, Potsdam, RIT, Syracuse, St. Lawrence, Oswego and Brockport).

Group Name: Think It, Make It

Members: Anthony DiCarlo, Aidan Chaffin and Nate George

Concept: TIMI wanted to become a central location for 3D printing in Troy, NY. They felt a professional environment with classes to support beginners would be more attractive to customers than an unknown individual on the internet. TIMI wished to support the community with IT services and work closely with RPI as well.

Group Name: Dank.gg

Members: Trevor Martin, Stratton Yerman and Josh Kraines

Concept: Dank.gg is a meme website that allows meme producers to share their creations, and is the best way for purveyors of memes to find and view memes they enjoy. It is a site that allows meme creators to both show off and profit off of their creativity. It is a curated site and, eventually, it would offer an app that allows users to easily access memes that are relevant to their location, mood, and interests.

Here are a few pictures from their presentations. Click on the image to enlarge it.