Business ideas

College of Staten Island Students Present Transformative Business Ideas: Meet the Winners | In the Class column

IN CLASS: This column is part of a chronicle on continuing education highlighting the various activities that mobilize school communities.

STATEN ISLAND, NY — College of Staten Island (CSI) students pitched many transformative business ideas in a recent campus-wide competition, and the winners have been announced.

CSI has announced the winners of the 2022 Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition.

Students submitted challenging ideas, with applications divided into several different categories. After careful consideration, the college’s Lucille & Jay Chazanoff School of Business has shared the winners in several categories, including Social and Climate Impact, Health and Life Sciences, General Category, Consumer Category, veteran, the first generation category and the historically underrepresented category.

More than 150 submissions were received for the competition, according to the school.

LaunchPad is open to students from all CSI fields. CSI’s Blackstone LaunchPad Entrepreneurship Network makes entrepreneurship accessible by connecting a diverse group of students to resources on and off campus, according to the college.

Social and climate

In the Social and Climate category of the contest, Michael Cascio is the first place winner, with his “Moon Shot” entry, an app that provides advanced baseball metrics on the spot. The app would capture bat speed as well as ball exit speed and launch angle, just by getting behind the batter as it swings. It would also give insight into the hit probability, after briefly scanning the pitch the batter is hitting on. Cascio said he hopes to make baseball more exciting and relevant for the younger generation by using this app, according to CSI.

health and life sciences

First-place winner Aliah Salem’s proposal for a “modified seatbelt” stems from an issue that touches us deeply. One of Salem’s relatives suffers from a medical condition that makes fitting a typical seatbelt problematic. This motivated Salem to help both his family member and others in similar conditions.


Yekaterina Zelikova presented her idea for a “custom cybersecurity software development company”. As major cybersecurity attacks increase, the idea is to protect CEOs, wealthy business owners, and their consumers from having their information stolen on the web. It would keep sensitive business and consumer information safer than software ever could. According to CSI, Zelikova came up with the idea after a family member had her identity stolen due to substandard security software.


Tal Ohana strives to keep sneakers fresh with his idea, “Klean Kicks,” according to the college. Ohana offers a sneaker cleaning and refurbishing service, where their expertise and care sets them apart from the rest. Ohana found inspiration for “Klean Kicks” while maintaining her own sneaker collection.

In addition, Jose Oropeza also offers his services to “sneakerheads” with his company, “Lifeandsoles”. It focuses on inspiring those invested in sneaker culture and streetwear, allowing them to express themselves in their clothes. The company provides high-end shoe laces, the latest sneaker releases and its own apparel.


Holly Ardern’s idea, “Toilet Access NYC,” is designed to help New Yorkers with disabilities meet their bathroom needs. She is working on creating an app that gives users directions to the nearest accessible bathroom.

These bathrooms will be rated on the app and rated with guidelines that go beyond those of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). The app will also allow users to tailor their bathroom needs to their specific abilities to ensure they find the bathroom that’s right for them, according to CSI.

first generation

Dominick François impressed the judges with his idea for “Island Hopper”, a “hop-on hop-off bus tour of Staten Island”.

“Staten Island is still an untapped market for the New York tourist. Island Hopper is a great way to tap into the tourism market in a way that can also benefit Staten Island businesses immensely,” he said.

Salvatore Nicolosi said he wanted to help Staten Island drivers personalize their vehicle with his company, “Aesthetic Motorsports,” which would allow vehicle owners to express their creativity through their cars through customizable color wraps, seat belts and other aftermarket cosmetic facilities. Nicolosi got his idea by finding pleasure in working and customizing his own car.

Latesha Negron’s proposal, “Digital Price Change”, is designed to give consumers accurate prices on retail items. It would add easily updated digital price tags to shelves to eliminate confusion of expired price marks for buyers and sellers. With “Digital Price Change”, a simple click of a button will allow retail stores to display their current prices.

Historically underrepresented

Through his “FashionGo” proposal, Adrian Gonzales seeks to give people style advice. The app would keep a photo inventory of a person’s clothes and tell them where, when and why to wear a certain outfit and also match the clothes to create the perfect outfit for any occasion.


Curtis High School in St. George will open Curtis Closet for the free distribution of coats on Thursdays.

The school will have new and used coats for all sizes – from infants to XXL. Coats will be available during periods 8 and 9 in the school auditorium.

All coats are free.

The Curtis Closet was established in 2017 by Assistant Principal Diana Aversa and several students. The inspiration for the closet began after Aversa brought some lightly used and new clothes to Curtis to see if any students wanted the pieces, such as dresses and Curtis gear.

In the spring, the closet offers prom dresses and costumes for students.


Do you have an idea for an article for the Education in the Classroom section? Email Annalize Knudson, Education Journalist, at [email protected]


Source link