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12-14-2015

Malone Middle School Students Pitch Business Ideas to Clarkson University Student Entrepreneurs

About 140 eighth graders at Malone Middle School recently took to the stage to pitch their business ideas to Clarkson University students and hone their entrepreneurial skills.

Malone Middle SchoolThe eighth graders have worked since the beginning of the school year to develop their business ideas, and Malone Middle School invited students from Clarkson's Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators Program to help them develop their technique.

Clarkson business students Briar Bonadonna, of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., and Josh Parker, of Canton, N.Y., acted as mentors and provided feedback to the middle school students. After listening to their business ideas, the Clarkson students delivered their own pitches to the class.

"I thought the Clarkson students were very professional," said Malone Middle School student Mitchel Miletich. "I thought it was helpful to hear about how they used advertising to sell their products."

Clarkson has been nationally recognized for its annual Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators Competition in which up to five young entrepreneurs or innovators have an opportunity to attend Clarkson without tuition through a combination of merit-based financial aid (after accounting for other aid for which the student may be eligible) and the acquisition by the University of an ownership interest in their business ventures.

Ashley Sweeney, assistant director of the Reh Center for Entrepreneurship in Clarkson's School of Business, said she hopes more students learn that entrepreneurship can provide unique career and educational opportunities.
 
"The goal of this project was to expose the eighth graders to college student entrepreneurs and to teach them that they, too, can be entrepreneurial," she said. "It was exciting for Briar and Josh to sit on the other side of the table and mentor the younger students who are just beginning their entrepreneurial journeys."

Learn more about Clarkson's Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators Program at http://www.clarkson.edu/equity .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Malone Middle School students pitch their business ideas to students from Clarkson University's Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators Program. From left to right, Sophia LaPlant, Courtney Boyea, Yasmeen Langdon and Wynonia Lawrence.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/malone-pitches.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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