Competition Cultivates High School Entrepreneurs

Release Date: March 29, 2010 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Six students from area high schools won first place in an entrepreneurship competition on March 27 for their winning business proposal, a consulting business focused on energy efficiency.

The competition was the capstone event following a 19-week Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP) conducted by the University at Buffalo School of Management and the Meszaros International Center of Entrepreneurship (MICE).

Joseph Foy of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Dietrich Diehl of Clarence High School, Carson Ciggia of Williamsville North High School, Raechal Mack of the Charter School for Applied Technologies, and Christa Dines and Claire Hoodmaker of Holy Angels Academy comprised the winning team.

Their business plan outlined the financial, marketing and sales projections for a business that would provide consulting on energy efficiency to business and residential customers.

Seven teams presented business plans in the competition, which was held in Hutchinson Central Technical High School. Two teams tied for second place in the competition. One team was recognized for its plan for a teen youth center, while the other proposed a corporate meeting and convention planning enterprise.

Judges for the competition were George Greenwood, controller, Hunterview; Michelle Melanson, management consultant; Edward (Trey) Roth, consultant, general manager, Perm Clip Product; Cynthia M. Shore, senior assistant dean and director of external relations, UB School of Management; and Jim Wendel, executive director, Seymour H. Knox Foundation.

Since October, 34 students from 23 area high schools have been attending the ETP on Saturday mornings in the UB School of Management, where they explored the possibilities and complexities of self-employment.

The competition was followed by an ETP graduation ceremony that included remarks from Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent James A. Williams and from representatives at MICE and the UB School of Management.

Funded by a grant from the Oishei Foundation, the program focuses on ethical entrepreneurship training and features class exercises that encourage team skills and critical thinking, guest speakers from a number of area entrepreneurs and a business-plan workshop.

“Young people have the greatest potential to develop positive attitudes and business behaviors,” said Joseph Salamone, co-founder of MICE, author of the Entrepreneurship Training Program and associate professor of organization and human resources in the UB School of Management.

“The entrepreneurship skills that students learned in this program—effective work habits, personal management and critical thinking—all transfer well into everyday life, and will help them to become high quality human assets,” he added.

The Meszaros International Center of Entrepreneurship is a not-for-profit foundation that develops and delivers entrepreneurship training products and programs. MICE has successfully completed programs in Central Europe. MICE was founded and originally funded by Laszlo (Les) Meszaros, a former entrepreneur who successfully started companies, most notably Voice Technologies Group, which he sold to Intel Corporation. For more information, visit

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities. 

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management