Alfred University News

Alfred University hosts second Future Business Leaders Competition

Alfred University hosted its second Future Business Leaders Competition on Friday, Nov. 11, as high school and community college students pitched their business ideas with a chance to win Alfred University scholarships and funding to help support their business plans.

The competition, sponsored by the University’s College of Business, was offered in three categories: Circular Economy, Rural Growth, New Ceramic or Glass Uses.

The goal of our FBL Competition is to attract potential students to Alfred University while giving them a platform to propose their business plans. This competition is open to all students, not just those interested in enrolling in Alfred University College of Business. The College’s first FBL Competition, held last spring, resulted in two students enrolling at Alfred University.

Following were the competition winners, with a description of their business ideas:

First Place. Each winner earns a $20,000 scholarship to Alfred University (payable $5,000 per year for four years) plus $500 to support their business:

  • Lily and Maggie Lui, New Providence High School, NJ (Sophomore and Freshman). Lily, a sophomore, and Maggie, a first-year high school student, are sisters who are the CEO and COO, respectively, of NetLove, a New Jersey based non-profit organization that strives to make the sport of tennis more sustainable. Currently, they have recycled over 3,300 tennis balls with the hope to spread their services throughout New Jersey. They will be using their prize money to purchase additional donation bins to aid in their mission.
  • Beatriz Souza de Cerqueira, an international student from Brazil, currently studying at Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne, PA. Her business idea was “GIG- Get It Give.” GIG is a social media styled version of Angies List or Nextdoor, offering users the opportunities to create unique social profiles that help their clients better understand their work. These profiles will also connect people who are looking to get work done with people who are willing to give work, hence the name “Get It Give”. This idea stems from the lack of connections in her hometown in Brazil. She realized that people were unable to connect with the services that they needed because they did not know how to go about seeking out those services.

Second Place. Winners earn a $16,000 scholarship to Alfred University (payable $4,000 per year for four years) plus $400 to support their business:

  • Alyssa Merry, a senior at Blue Valley High School in Stillwell, KS. Alyssa’s plan for her business, Mycelium, utilizes mycelium, the root fibers from mushrooms, to make clothing and other fashion goods that would normally be made of leather. This is a sustainable alternative to fashion trends that we currently see and can be used for a range of goods from shoes to bags to watch bands.
  • Amil Shah, a senior at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Bridgewater Township, NJ. Amil’s business plan involved developing a homemade recycling process with D-Limonene. The process extracts D-Limonene from orange peels to make a solution that dissolves Styrofoam without harmful vapors or residue left over. The materials that will be left after the process is completed can be recycled and turned into everyday products that households normally use, such as water bottles, storage containers, cups, etc.

Third Place. Winners earn a $12,000 scholarship to Alfred University (payable $3,000 per year for four years) plus $300 to support their business:

  • Christopher Coyle, a senior from Livonia (NY) High school. Christopher’s idea for his business, Rural Growth Initiative, focuses on creating legislation to introduce more college educated individuals to rural areas. This change would grant money to interested college graduates to stay in the rural area they graduated from and start a business. This grant funding would allow the area to benefit from the educated individuals that are produced by the institution of higher learning that is located there.
  • Natalie Dodge, a senior from Hornell (NY) High School. Natalie’s business idea, SmartTrash, produces a smart garbage/recycling bin that can detect if an item is garbage or recycling and sort it properly. This would cut down the total number of bins needed in areas for garbage and recycling and eliminate the need to sort through garbage and recycling by hand when people put everything in one can.

Community College Category. Winner earns a $10,000 scholarship to Alfred University (payable $5,000 per year for two years) plus $500 to support their business:

  • Erasmus van Zoest, a student at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arb or, MI. Erasmus’ plan, Rural Healthcare Legislation, would propose a change in legislation to allow for grant funding for students going through medical school to reside and work in a rural community. This would increase the number of physicians in rural communities while granting incentives to medical students that will help ease their debt and keep them in rural communities.