Trace George

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By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

The annual business idea pitch competition is fast approaching us now, and will be here in about two weeks! By this time, all participants should have already signed up for the competition, and should have at least attended one workshop to be able to participate. If you still haven’t attended a workshop, there is only one more left and it will be happening on April 12th during the common hour in T122, and will be about pitch prep.

This competition would be a great first step to making your dreams come true. One of our very own alum, Trace George, opened up his own business after graduating and has had a lot of success ever since. Trace George opened up the VSP Graphing Group Company in 1995, and his business went from a small sign shop in his garage to the successful business it is today.

According to Business First’s Fast Track 50, George’s business is the 10th fastest growing business here in western New York which is a real achievement. George’s company is also the official graphic provider for the Buffalo Bills, and the Sabres which are both amazing achievements.

Hopefully hearing about all the great things Trace George has accomplished for his business since graduating here inspired you, and made you more motivated to do this pitch competition coming up on April 19th! We hope to see you all there, and can’t wait to hear your business ideas! If you have any questions or concerns regarding the pitch competition, you may contact Lina LaMattina at lmlamattina@genesee.edu.

Student Entrepreneurs

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By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

The annual pitch competition is coming up quickly, and there is only one workshop left for you to attend if you haven’t gone to one of the workshops already, the last workshop will be on April 12th during the common hour in T121 and this workshop will be an Idea Pitch Preparation.

If you are still unsure about whether your business idea is good or not, I’m here to tell you that there is no idea that is stupid, all businesses are creative in its own way, and there are many entrepreneurs out there that are students also just like we are.

There are student entrepreneurs out there that you could research into and learn many great things about. There are student entrepreneurs who have created a fashion company with clothing designed from wet-felting and shibori. There is also a student entrepreneur out there who provides restaurants with computer tablets for guests to pay right from the table. The point is you can make any business that you want to, no idea is stupid or too small.

If you do your research, you will find out many of the things that keep these fellow student entrepreneurs motivated to start a business, and keep it going. Some of these things being students researching founders who are also in the startup phase as well, and being motivated because they want to create a legacy that means something to someone.

If you are interested in looking up more information about what being a student entrepreneur can do for you, or if you are interested in attending the annual pitch competition then come attend the last workshop on April 12th, and come out to the pitch competition on April 19th and get a chance to win a cash prize. Hope to see you all there!

Contact Lina LaMattina for the application form, or any questions.

LMLamattina@genesee.edu

Make Your Dreams a Reality

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By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

Have you ever thought about opening up your own business sometime within your lifetime, or thought about a business idea that you would love to see come to reality but not knowing what to do about it? Well, help is on the way pretty soon!

Genesee Community College will be hosting a Business Idea Pitch Competition on April 19th in the Conable Technology Building in room T102. This is the place to make your dreams a reality, and a chance to get to watch your dreams come to life. This is a real opportunity to present your business idea to people, and get help to make your dream business happen sooner than later.

If you don’t think that your business idea is good enough to be presented quite yet, there are business workshops happening up until the pitch competition to help guide you and give you more information about opening up your own business.

This pitch competition will also be judging your business ideas and if you win you may be able to win a cash prize, and let’s face it money is a pretty convincing way to get any college student to go to anything.

Attached below is a link to all the information you need to know if you’re thinking about attending the Pitch competition.

https://www.genesee.edu/home/events/businesspitch/

An Interview with Erica Swiatek of Innovate Faster

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By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

I interviewed our keynote speaker for this year’s Creativity Conference that is coming up on Febraury 28th, 2018. If you are looking to learn more about becoming an entrepreneur, and tips and tricks to help you get there, come to the Creativity Conference!

1) What made you want to open up your own business?

Swiatek says that she actually fell into business, she was working for a consulting business in learning and development and creative studies, and she wanted more than that. Swiatek was approached about doing the Escape Room, and she wanted to do assessments, playing and teaching personality problem solving, and taking over just fell into place.

2) What are your responsibilities as a business owner?

Swiatek says that her responsibilities are pretty much all over the place. There is lots of stuff to do every day involving marketing, paying the rent, creating the Escape Room classes, and usual day to day stuff.

3) What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to become an entrepreneur?

Swiatek says that you should always make sure that you are really passionate about it, because it involves a lot of day to day stuff that you are not going to love, and you will feel like this is not what you wanted, her piece of advice is to always be realistic.

4) How do you exhibit your creativity?

Swiatek says that she exhibits her creativity through playfulness. She tries to be an ambassador at play, she likes to play first learn second. She says it gives her such a different experience, and that she still plays with a slinky toy, always has fun colored nail polish, and likes to showcase her playfulness.

 

Experience the Creativity Conference This Semester!

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By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

When you were growing up, did you ever look around at all the businesses around your local town when your mother was driving you around, and think ‘owning my own business might be a fun thing to do’? You probably were also thinking that owning your own business will make you lots of money, fame, and a big nice house to live in. Well, what if I could tell you that there is a chance to learn more about what being an entrepreneur really is, and what it can do for you if you choose to pursue entrepreneurship?

Next month on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 in the Conable Technology Building at Genesee Community College’s Batavia campus, the Business program will be hosting a ‘Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone’ Conference to inspire people to become entrepreneurs. This conference will have a keynote speaker, multiple breakouts with lots of speakers from different industries, and will also have a continental breakfast, and lunch. Registration will be beginning at 8:15 am, and the conference will start at 9 am with a keynote speaker.

Our keynote speaker will be Erica Swiatek, who is an entrepreneur from a company called Innovate Faster, she is also the one who does the Escape Room activities you have probably heard about. We are also hoping that Erica will demonstrate some of these escape room activities to the students here. Swiatek blends the stuff she knows best into activities, courses, and programs for other people to enjoy. These activities, courses, and programs are all about innovation, professional development, change management and team building.

Come Learn & Grow With The CEO Club

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September 28th is a very exciting day, and the first of many more to come. The CEO Club will be hosting a “Year of Entrepreneurship”, and our first event will be a next Thursday in the Forum 12:30-2PM, lunch will be provided however you must RSVP with Amy Conley via email (avconley@genesee.edu) in order to be served lunch however anyone may attend 1-2PM without RSVP.

Nicole_Manapol2017

Our first speaker for this event is Nicole Manapol, the director of Letchworth Gateway Villages (LGV) Initiative. Manapol’s greatest concern is to help increase economic growth, including new tourism-related marketing efforts for communities that serve as a ‘gateway’ to Letchworth State Park. The USDA-funded collaboration works to stimulate economic growth and regional cooperation through the use of network building, technical assistance, and research and awareness building. Among many other things, recently they launched a blog that will highlight innovations and efforts throughout nearby communities. You can visit the site at:  https://www.letchworthgatewayvillages.org/.

You may or may not know that Dr. LaMattina and Professor Conley are the advisors for the CEO Club, and Dr. LaMattina shared her thoughts about the upcoming event. She says she is excited to have Nicole coming to GCC to help us kickoff our “Year of Entrepreneurship”. She also says the Nicole’s travels, experiences, academic degrees, career endeavors, and the energy she projects and embodies is the exact entrepreneurial spirit that GCC tries to foster.

Dr. LaMattina is also excited for the collaborative partnership with multiple local organizations throughout the “Year of Entrepreneurship”, all of which are going to even further “help nurture business ideas, plans, concepts, and an entrepreneurial spirit in the region”.

The next event in GCC’s “Year of Entrepreneurship” is October 26th, for the first annual Agri-Tourism Symposium. It will be hosted by GCC’s Tourism and Hospitality Management Program.  The goal of this event is to inspire entrepreneurial agri-tourism throughout the GLOW region with another feature keynote speaker as well as panelists and a Meet, Greet and Eat reception.

Make sure to RSVP with Professor Conley if you are interested in eating lunch prior to the event next Thursday, and if not then we will see you at 1PM to hear what Nicole Manapol has to say!

Myself and the CEO Club hope to see you there!

Stay inspired…

-Danielle

Professional Sales Students Host Guest Speaker

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By: Harry O. Rodriguez – Professional Sales Student

Mr. Leandro de Andrade Pereira, a full time employee at Genesee Community College, visited the professional sales class taught by Professor Rick Dudkowski.

Leo is a success coach for the nursing program and he’s also a baseball coach at GCC. Pereira was an international student. He is from Curaçao. Pereira shared a little bit about his background and his selling experience with the students in class. He completed a degree in DC, and then he transferred to Florida International University and earned his bachelor’s degree in early childhood. He worked six months at Home Depot selling doors and windows. He said “you have to be assertive but not too pushy that the customers walk away”. He also worked at Verizon.

He said in order to sell you need to understand your customers. For example you would use a different approach with a homeowner than a professional contractor. There is a 75% higher chance that a customer will buy if you relate the product or service back to what they were saying or satisfying their needs.

At GCC Pereira is trying to sell the nursing program. He recently hosted tours for area high school students. Pereira also stressed that the more practice you have selling the easier it gets. After his presentation, students were given the opportunity to ask Pereira questions. At the end of the class, Pereira was given a GCC Plaid Tie as a token of appreciation for coming to class and sharing his experiences with the students.

On behalf of the class, I would like thank Mr. Pereira for his time and advice. We learned a lot from him, sincerely, Harry O. Rodriguez.