BEHS students show off their businesses at competition

Published on Tuesday, 16 January 2018 20:51


BRISTOL – Sophomore Abigail King won the gold medal certificate for her idea for an interior design consulting business called “Intuit Interiors,” at the 15th Bristol Eastern High School Business Plan Competition (BPC), held recently at the UConn-Waterbury regional campus.

The entrepreneurial competition is part of the school’s Small Business course, said John Harris, BEHS business teacher. “And the students put on a fabulous show in front of 14 judges from the business community - the format for this event.”

Hosted by the UConn School of Business, 26 students from ninth through 12th grade presented their business ideas at the all-day competition. The plans were judged by 15 members of the local business community, including business managers, bank and corporate executives, small business owners, and other business experts.

King’s marketing plan to reach customers through architects caught the judges’ attention, Harris said, “but Abby’s exceptional preparation, robust speaking skills, and clearly articulated message lead her to first place at the competition. She impressed the judges with her ability to incorporate comments from BPC judges in the first round into improvements in her presentation in the playoffs.”

The silver medal certificate went to sophomore Andrew Shanahan for “Laxer,” an idea for a manufacturing company that would make a revolutionary high end design of lacrosse stick.

The product involved both subcontract manufacture of parts and custom machinery to press the elements of the stick together that would be made in a manufacturing facility the business would set up.

“Among the things Andrew brought to the table that would help him be successful in this venture is machine shop background. His family owns one of the bigger machine shops in Bristol and would be able to make the custom machinery needed for this business,” Harris said.

The bronze medal certificate went to a pair of freshmen: Logan Schenck and Hayden Michele for “Thunder Burst,” an energy bar specifically for high school and middle school age kids.

This product differed from competitors in the fast growing quick energy segment by being a candy bar rather than a bottled liquid, which would make it much more convenient for students to carry and consume in school.

“They believed that parents would also like the idea of something to keep their school-age children awake and attentive in class,” Harris said.

The Fred Smith Dark Horse Award went to Kayla Savage, a senior, for “Ecstatic Costume Design” – a business of making custom, high end costumes for Halloween, theater productions, and other special events.

Harris said the “underdog” award is given by an unscored popular vote by the judges for the business plan considered most likely to be ignored by the “experts” but could really be a big hit in the end,

The award is unique to the BPC, he said. “Created a decade ago, it honors the success of Federal Express founder Fred Smith who pressed on when the experts thought he couldn’t do what he had in mind.”

Other participating students and their projects were:

Kyle Cyr, 10th grade, “Laughing Stock.”

Dan Melanson, ninth grade, “Melanson Monster Trucks.”

Hope Kaluzny, 12th grade, and Kristina Bonenfant, 10th grade, “Virtual Habitat Trainer.”

Tyler Donahue and Dylan Johnson, ninth grade, “Top It Up Tailgating.”

Maha Kattaya, 10th grade, “League of Languages (LOL) Comics.”

Corey Burney, 11th grade, “Sports Hurt Insurance.”

Tony Prosser, 10th grade, “Fire and Soul Forge.”

Isaiah Arceneaux and Andrew Flores, 10th grade, “High Performance Fast Engines.”

Jenna Cefaly and Samantha Kavanagh, ninth grade, “Snap & Go Looks.”

Dylan Woodsome and Bobby Mosback, ninth grade, “Safe at Home Base Co.”

Gabe Zygiel, ninth grade, “Learn to Music.”

Disha Beri, 10th grade, “Creative Colony Club.”

Tyler Roy and Nate Dossias, ninth grade, “Safety+.”

Jennifer Black and Marissa Losacano, ninth grade, “Math Connections.”

The judges were:

Eric Anderson, Talent Acquisition and Corporate Recruitment Manager for the Eastern Atlantic and Pacific Northwest divisions of operation for Genoa Healthcare.

Dawn Draper-Classen, Vice President, Human Resources, Business Partner at Farmington Bank.

Anthony E. D’Amato, D’Amato Construction.

Lydia Greco, Branch Manager for People’s United Bank in Bristol.

Larry Hochman, BEHS high school guidance counselor and founder of consulting companies No More Holding Back Training and Development and The T3 Method.

Sarah A. Jayne, VP Market Manager of the Southington Business Market for People’s United Bank.

Maria G. Kulesza, Professor of Business Administration at Central Connecticut State University.

Katherine Lane, Vice President, Internal Auditor at Farmington Bank.

Dara Macchi, Vice President of Marketing at Farmington Bank.

Anna Radziwillowicz, Instructor in Residence at the University of Connecticut School of Business.

Kimberly Selvaggi, Executive Director of LISA Inc.

Eric Schaefer, founder, owner and president of Advance Property Management in Glastonbury.

Roberta Wathen, BEHS administrative assistant.

Karen Webb, Director of Finance at NBC Connecticut and Telemundo Connecticut (WVIT/WRDM).

Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Tuesday, 16 January 2018 20:51. Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2018 20:53.