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In the News: Buffalo State Students’ Participation in New York Business Plan Competition Featured on WGRZ


Buffalo State University students were featured on WGRZ-TV 4 on May 24 for their participation in the 2024 New York State Business Plan Competition in April. Student entrepreneurs had the opportunity to participate in the annual Shark Tank-like competition—where students pitch innovative business ideas to judges for monetary prizes—thanks to a two-year, $57,000 grant from Bank of America.

The WGRZ segment, “3 Buffalo State Students Compete in New York Business Plan Competition,” interviewed Jada Ivey, a sophomore fashion merchandising major and owner of sustainable clothing brand XII XXI.

Of the five Buffalo State students who competed in the regional round of NYBPC, three were selected for the semifinals, and two—Ivey and Jonah Christakis—advanced to the final round in Albany, accompanied by Buffalo State Small Business Development Center advisor Olivia Harbol.

At the state competition, students had eight minutes to pitch their businesses to the judges. After the pitches, entrepreneurs fielded six minutes of judges’ questions on value propositions, management capability, and what sets them apart from industry competitors. 

“We got to build that connection,” said Ivey, who singled out networking as an invaluable part of the experience. “Even after the pitch was done, we were all in the room; I connected with so many people.”