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Bona students advance to states in NYS Business Plan Competition

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ST. BONAVENTURE — Three St. Bonaventure University students and their start-up businesses have advanced to the state level of the New York State Business Plan Competition after “crushing it” at the regional competition Friday in Buffalo.

“Our students owned the room. They absolutely crushed it,” said Dr. Todd Palmer, associate professor of management. “A lot of hard work and deep thought made these teams unique. These students were connecting with other people like crazy.”

Palmer and Tom Cullen, director of SBU’s Innovation Center, were advisers for the students.

The NYBPC is New York’s intercollegiate entrepreneurship competition that, since 2010, has provided a platform for training New York’s next generation of entrepreneurs and launched new ventures, commercializing innovations developed on college campuses across New York.

The Bonaventure students and their businesses moving on to the state competition were:

Dalorum. Max Brie, CEO. Recently, the NCAA allowed students to start earning money based on their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). Brie is seeking lower-profile student-athletes to enhance their earnings by pooling athletes and matching them up with regional businesses. He already has 300 student-athletes signed up, including six Olympians. He is finishing up work on his app and will start beta testing it this summer. Brie is a senior finance major from Montreal.

Raise the Bar. Parker Bray, CEO. Bray is a woodworker taking it to the next level by creating high-end branding gifts for real estate agents. His student team is signing up real estate agents in the hottest markets in the country. SBU Raise the Bar team members include William Breen, Brady Wijbrandts, Cecilia Lauciello and Katie Dunn. Bray is a junior marketing major from Strykersville.

Sniper Gloves. Tanner Swagler, CEO. Swagler is a mixed martial arts fighter who owns a small gym in Rochester. Like a lot of MMA fighters, Swagler has broken his hands and wrists — a lot. Working with a local orthopedic surgeon, Swagler and his team are designing a new type of glove with a more supportive infrastructure, radically different from existing gloves. He has recruited some top MMA fighters to act as ambassadors as he moves toward his goal. SBU Sniper Gloves team members include Nicolas Ilustre, Sebastiano Villani, and Zach Owens. Swagler is a senior accounting and management major from East Rochester.

The first and second rounds of the statewide competition will be held in mid-April, with the NYBPC Grand Prize Finals slated for April 27 in Syracuse.

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