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April 22, 2020

Adelphi’s Annual Business Plan Competition Goes Virtual

by Anthony Sciarratta

Student entrepreneurs from Adelphi University will have the chance to compete for cash prizes on Thursday, April 30, at 9:00 a.m. in a virtual Shark Tank-style competition hosted by the University’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business. The annual competition, which usually takes place on campus, will be held as a private event in a virtual format on Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Adelphi’s vow to provide its students a well-rounded education remains unwavering in these disruptive times,” said Rajib Sanyal, PhD, dean of the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business.

Echoing the famous lines etched on New York City’s James A. Farley Post Office building, Dr. Sanyal observed, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, and surely not the coronavirus, can stay our faculty, staff, and alumni from the swift fulfillment of their commitment to student success.”

All Adelphi students were eligible to enter this competition. Five contestants were chosen who will compete to win a total of $11,000 in cash prizes. The first-place winner will be awarded $5,000, the second-place winner $3,000 and the third-place winner $2,000. The remaining $1,000 will be awarded to the student with the best two-minute elevator pitch.

Last year’s first-place winner, Chitralekha (Pooja) Kar ’18, MS ’19, successfully pitched her project, called Garden of Green, a portal for consumers to shop for sustainable apparel from various suppliers.

This year’s finalists and their projects are:

  • Elena Garcia, Maven Media
  • Duc Le, Roommate Exchange
  • Abie Rawad Akhand, Eden
  • Samrat Malik, Auto Fire Hazard Control System
  • Gabriel Balestero, Mind Sports Training

“In the midst of uncertainty, I am very happy that Adelphi is still providing us the platform to experience something that I have planned for so long,” said Akhand.

“It is an honor to be part of this amazing competition,” said Balestero. “I am learning so much and feel very grateful to have this opportunity to show my ideas.”

“The experience has been nothing short of eye-opening,” said Le. “It encouraged me to consider the good, the bad and the ugly of setting up a business. Ultimately, all three contribute to the beauty of entrepreneurship. Bringing your vision to life can be very rewarding.”

Murat Erogul, PhD, assistant professor of management, has overseen the organizing of this competition since its inception. Lori Cary, co-curricular programs specialist, is implementing the details of this year’s event.

The finalists will present their proposals to a panel of judges who are either Adelphi faculty members or local business leaders.

  • Pawneet Abramowski, MBA ’07, principal, PARC Solutions LLC
  • Andy Bailen ’78, managing director, 3Pe Consulting LLC
  • Anita D’Amico, PhD ’84, CEO, Code Dx, Inc.
  • Graziela Fusaro, director, Adelphi’s Innovation Center
  • Michael Hurley, ’06, MBA ’09, senior strategic account manager, App Annie

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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

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