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Incredible experience: Fredonia students win big at SUNY Fredonia business competition

Submitted Photos Pictured are first place finishers Londyn Wilmot and Elizabeth Saunders with their product concept, Slip Grip.

FREDONIA — Fredonia High School students did not have to travel far to come out on top at a competition for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The SUNY Fredonia School of Business recently hosted a “Shark Tank” themed business competition for area high school schools.

Ten Fredonia High School students, split into four teams, competed in the challenge against student teams from Dunkirk, Southwestern and Lake Shore. Fredonia took the top two spots in the competition. Business teachers Laura DePue and Lori Addington accompanied their students at the event.

“This was an incredible experience. It was well put together and executed by the SUNY Fredonia Business School. It was great to see our students in action. They were really engaged,” Addington said. “All four of the teams came in with some great ideas, took the information they were given from the professors and mentors and ran with it. They were involved, interested, and having a lot of fun. I am so proud of all of them. Winning first and second place was icing on the cake!”

Freshman Elizabeth Saunders and her teammate, Londyn Wilmot, brought home first place with their product, Slip Grip, a special spray that athletes can apply to the soles of their shoes for better traction.

Shown in this photo are second place finishers Meyah Aponte and Leah Hinds Morrison with their product concept, the Cuddle Bug blanket.

Saunders said she was a little worried at first that she would forget things during their sales pitch but in the end. “I loved getting the chance to present an idea in the form of public speaking and I would 100% be interested in participating in this event next year,” she said.

Teams of two or more students worked together to create a product or service that filled a need for people in the Western New York area. Each team designed a sales pitch, complete with product specifications, pricing and purchasing options, that they then presented to the Dean and students of the SUNY Fredonia School of Business.

“I was proud of what we did, certainly,” said senior Meyah Aponte. “I was a little worried at first because we had an idea that was recreational, not really a necessity, and I thought that would hinder our chances.”

Aponte did not need to be concerned, as she and fellow senior teammate Leah Hinds-Morrison took second place in the competition with their “Cuddle Bug” concept, a blanket perfect for cuddling up on a cold day with pockets for your hands, a full length pocket at the bottom for your feet and a large hood.

“I think coming in with an idea already conceptualized was helpful, as it allowed us to focus on refining and marketing,” added Hinds-Morrison. “We were down a team member, Rylee Crampton, the day of the competition, but she was an integral part of the group, as she came up with the idea for our pitch.”

DePue was impressed not only by her students, but also the event itself. “The students and faculty at SUNY Fredonia did a great job organizing this for the first year. We didn’t know exactly what to expect going in, but all of the students from each school did great. The students were very creative and I felt that they presented their ideas very well in front of the large group,” DePue said.

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