Solarity Shines Brightest at Strongest New York Citywide Business Plan Competition

By January 28, 2014 March 21st, 2019 Main Story Front Page, New York City, New York City Metro Area, News
Solarity Shines Brightest at Strongest New York Citywide Business Plan Competition Yet

Solarity moves onto Nationals for the second year in a row

On January 17th, twenty-two VEI Firms attended the 2014 New York Citywide Business Plan Competition after separating themselves with stellar presentations from the pack of forty-eight firms in the Local Business Plan Competitions. In the morning of the Citywide Competition, all twenty-two teams presented twice at the United Federation of Teachers’ headquarters. The morning round atmosphere was abuzz with anticipation. Students and coordinators made some last minute preparations, psyched themselves up, and awaited their shots to showcase months of hard work and get closer to representing NYC at the National Business Plan Competition during the 2014 Youth Business Summit in April.

After seven semi-finalists were announced, the crowd reacted with excitement and disappointment, and the remaining teams headed to one of Deloitte’s offices for the championship round. The championship round was a nail-biter, but eventually the top three teams were chosen to move onto Nationals.

Citywide Champions

1st  – Solarity (New Dorp HS)
2nd  – Majestique (W.C. Bryant HS)
3rd  – T-Squared (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS)

Check out photos from the afternoon round to see the diverse range of industries and ideas on display.

Photos from Afternoon Round

Citywide Finalists

  • Footprint (W.C. Bryant HS)
  • Imagination (HS for Arts, Imagination & Inquiry)
  • Majestique (W.C. Bryant HS)
  • Solarity (New Dorp HS)
  • T-Squared (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS)
  • VE Law & Insurance (New Dorp HS)
  • VReal Publications (Francis Lewis HS)

Photos from the Morning Round

Below is an interview with NYC Program Coordinator Nick Chapman regarding his view of the competition. VEI extends our deep appreciation to Deloitte, UFT, the judges, volunteers, students, coordinators, mentors, and staff for their commitment to helping shape the next generation of business leaders and the names of these exemplary people can be found at the bottom of this post.


Nick Chapman

Q&A with NYC Program Coordinator Nick Chapman

What were this year’s pleasant surprises?

It’s always wonderful to see the variety of firms presenting at the Citywide Competition.  It was great to see the extraordinary level of competition. 

In addition to Solarity’s accomplishment, I’m especially proud of T-Squared (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) and Majestique (WC Bryant), who will both be first time participants in the National Business Plan Competition.


How did this year’s competition compare to last year’s? How did it compare to the local competitions?

This was the strongest field of teams that I’ve seen in the Citywide.  Many of the teams were in striking distance of the finals and I think it tells us a lot about the dedication and preparation of our students and teachers.


What advice do you have to the teams moving to Nationals?

Get as many people as possible to read your plan, watch your presentation, and provide feedback.


What advice do you have to teams who couldn’t make it?

Run your business!  Make sales, get the word out, implement your plan!  Start preparing for the upcoming International Trade Show.


What would you say to students who fell shy of making it but are seniors and won’t get another shot at this in a VE context? In other words, what do you hope they can take from the experience into college and beyond?

By making it to the Citywide, each of these 22 firms have already separated themselves from their competition.  The experiences that these students gained in writing, preparing, and presenting their work will only serve to further set them apart from their peers after high school.

[accordion] [spoiler title=”Participating Teams” style=”blue”]

Academy of Finance & Enterprise
Assurance Services for Advanced Progress
Victoria Armano, Principal
Janina Morones, Coordinator
Erika Apupalo, Joseph Costantino, Amanda Katsman, Rachel Ladines, Dean Ponce Jr., Shannon Raghunandan, Elvira Rodriguez, Melissa Ruiz, Ioannis Rutledge, Alyssa Shanderson, Kelly Toro, Brittany Whitlock

Academy of Finance & Enterprise
Infinite Investment Solutions
Victoria Armano, Principal
Janina Morones, Coordinator
Natalie Aguilar, Andrew Armoogan, Jonelle Chambers, Jeffrey Gil, Matthew Gonsalves, Arianie Marte, Michael Musca, Kirby Reyes, Victoria Ruiz, Priyanka Shivnani, Andre Tobon

Bronx HS of Business @ Taft
Vincent Rodriguez, Principal
Carmen Gonzalez, Coordinator
Krystal Burgos, Jonathan Martinez, Javon Miller, Mecca Mitchell, Reakariolina Valdez, Marco Valero

Edward R. Murrow HS
Brandmark Advertising
Alan Barge, Principal
Lisa Costantino, Coordinator
Apollina Kyle, Johanna Dempsey, Enisa Nikovic, Gayane Gahnapetyan, Iris Li

Edward R. Murrow HS
Ink’d Media
Alan Barge, Principal
Lisa Costantino, Coordinator
Stephanie DeAngelis, Crystal Kowlesar, Benjamin Yakubov, Carlton Richardson Jr., Kiara Muniz, Kevin Tan

Forest Hills HS
Velocity International
Saul Gootnick, Principal
Robert Suydam & John Litkowski, Co-Coordinators
Otabek Azimov, Bill Gao, Jasmin Kaur, Tusheka Persaud, Rebecca Rangel, Nocole Reyes, Gaurav Singh, Ernesto Zavala

Fort Hamilton HS
Safeguard Security, Inc.
Kaye Houlihan, Principal
Mary Grace Alfredo, Coordinator
Jasur Akramov, Ali Elsaad, Michael Kaba, Tiffany Lam, George Maalouf, Edwin Trofimov

Fort Hamilton HS
Sweet ‘N Savory Catering
Kaye Houlihan, Principal
Mary Grace Alfredo, Coordinator
Sarah Chiu, Jessica Espinoza, Areli Morales, Veronica Ng

Francis Lewis HS
Dr. David Marmor, Principal
Isai Serrano, Coordinator
Nolen Leung, Priya Pandey, Aysha Qureshi, Ronald Rojas, Brandon Tong, Christina Young

Francis Lewis HS
VReal Publications
Dr. David Marmor, Principal
Isai Serrano, Coordinator
Joshua Cohen, Alexia Seepersaud, Ashna Raza, Nasia Maimos, Alyson Tom

HS for Arts, Imagination & Inquiry
Imagination, Inc.
Stephen Noonan, Principal
James Caracciolo, Coordinator
Mindy Bernal, Ciarah Brown, Juan Flores, Abdiel Gaston, Orlando Gil, Laura Giron, Samantha Henriques, Marilyn Landy, Pheona Minkah, Tiana Rosado, Nicole Urena

Hillcrest HS
Build Your Future Institute
Stephen Duch, Principal
Michele Gensler, Coordinator
Florid Alauddin, Tachell Anglin, Pascale Civil Louis, Kadeijah Francis, Malinda Madhoo, Nicholas Naipaul, Winnie Saintilus, Jovan Smith, Naushin Tasnim, Victor Valladares

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS
Edward DeMeo, Principal
Frank Egereonu, Coordinator
Catherine Perez, Richmond Anyetei, Nicole Taniguchi, Loriber Mateo, Ana Jimenez, Stephanie Battle, Tabitha Bloodsaw, Maria Depena

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS
Urban Ground
Edward DeMeo, Principal
Frank Egereonu, Coordinator
Christy Rivas, Isaiah Lacen, Crystal Odame, Destinee Suarez, Kassandra Rivera, Jonathan Davis, Jazlyn Pineda, Brian Rios

Manhattan Business Academy
Karen Polsonetti, Principal
Emanuel Young, Coordinator
Jordan Knox, Anthony Balfour, Indira Cruz, Mahmoud Khedr, Keever Alvarez

Murry Bergtraum HS
Virtually Protected Insurance Company
Lottie Almonte, Principal
Paula St. Vrestil , Coordinator
Herline Bastien, Abigail Bueno, Rochelle Cliff, Justin Cortes, Savannah Eustace, Onica Glen, Shaylin Hernandez, Lexis Mercado, Stephanie Montas, Alvia Richard, Pablo Rodriguez, Taisha Rodriguez, Jahmel Younger

New Dorp HS
Deirdre DeAngelis, Principal
Paul Presti, Coordinator
Klajdi Qoku, Gabriella Santangelo, Toyin Shitta-Bey, Josiah Edouard, Blenda Abazi, Mena Adly

New Dorp HS
VE Law & Insurance
Deirdre DeAngelis, Principal
Paul Presti, Coordinator
Adam Taeb, Ajet Sabovic, Lynda de los Rios, John Carmichael, Morkus Abdelmesh

Port Richmond HS
PR Catering
Timothy Gannon, Principal
Barry O’Brien, Coordinator
Nihad Buljubasic, Devin Desire, Unique Jones, Jeton Krasniqi, Keenan Parker, Ahmed Raza, Joseph Razon, Ryan Soriano, Raymond Waters, Kaiser Zahroof

Susan E Wagner HS
Gary Giordano, Principal
Rachael Monaco, Coordinator
Jilian DeCristofano, Sindia Dominguez, Caitlin Edwardsen, Marilyn Garcia, Jasmine Gonzales, Victoria Iacono, Kevin Pacheco, Maria Scalici, Iman Shah, Sherole White, Vincent Xiong

William Cullen Bryant HS
Namita Dwarka, Principal
Soteria Stavroulakis & Andrew Horowitz, Co-Coordinators
Daniel Walker, Reyn Padua, Sead Purisic, Stephanie Tsakos, Andrew Penaranda,Cesar Liriano, Harout Tokatlyan, Jonathan Disla, Carlos Batista

William Cullen Bryant HS
Namita Dwarka, Principal
Soteria Stavroulakis & Andrew Horowitz, Co-Coordinators
Naasik Islam, Chi Zhang, Miguel Rosas, Elma Sainovic, Mostafa Mosbah, Mushrat Imam, Giovanni Xiquemoyotl, Abrar Kabir, Pamela Zvirkic

[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Judges” style=”blue”]

Preliminary Round (A.M.)

  • Andrew Ahn, HSBC
  • Charlotte Beyer, Principle Quest Foundation
  • Lizzette Butkiewicz, HSBC
  • Frank Chiarello, The Tower Group Companies
  • Julius Dunn, American Association of Advertising Agencies
  • Judy Ellis, Citadel Broadcasting
  • Dr. Michele Enix-Kenney, Excellence by  Design
  • Peter Freyer, HSBC
  • Abby Gilmore, Covington Industries Inc.
  • Alfred Hall, BNY Mellon
  • Slay Kuzmin, HSBC
  • Bonnie Manter, Wired NYC
  • Bonnie Messing, Geller & Company
  • Alterrell Mills, American Express
  • Nelly Palmon, Rutgers University
  • Cheryl Rosen, Consultant
  • Angelo Scialfa III, Fox Run Group
  • Joshua Siegel, Georgetown Angels
  • Mark Smith, Viacom
  • Elaine Taylor-Gordon, Flash Force LLC
  • Kene Turner, Epilife Consulting Inc.
  • Burt Wallerstein, Fastrax Marketing Inc.
  • Jian Xiao, Fordham University
  • Doug Young, Council for Economic Education
  • Rose Zu, HSBC

Championship Round (P.M.)

  • Alan Bain, World Wide Business Centers
  • Ken Colwell, Long Island University, Brooklyn
  • Robert Giordano, Deloitte & Touche
  • Bettie Jones, TD Bank
  • Timothy Nash, The College of Mount St. Vincent
  • Albert Zdenek, Traust Sollus Wealth Management
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Volunteers” style=”blue”]
  • Manuel Alvarado, Alumnus
  • Eric Amundsen, Deloitte
  • Valerie Anicet, Alumna
  • Shivraj Bhoj, Alumnus
  • Tina Marie Callahan, Alumna
  • Tiffany Cordero, Alumna
  • Fatoumata Diallo, Alumna
  • Billy Ding, Alumnus
  • Esra Elzin, Alumnus/Deloitte
  • Brian Fontes, Alumnus
  • John Fugazzie, Executive
  • Mohammad Hossain, Alumnus
  • Veronika Ivanova, Alumna
  • Atul Kapoor, Alumnus
  • Artur Katsev, Deloitte
  • Mark Lipari, Alumnus, St. John’s University
  • Elizabeth Pooran, Alumna, Pace University
  • Neelam Prashad, Alumna, City University of NY
  • Majestic Rivas, Alumna
  • Tracy Shu, Alumna,  Baruch College
  • Edina Suca, Alunma/Deloitte
  • Samuel Wong, Alumnus, Fordham University/US Dept of the Treasury
[/spoiler] [/accordion]

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