Entrepreneur Boot Camp is an award-winning 60-hour intensive training program that guides would-be entrepreneurs and existing businesses through the step-by-step process of starting, operating and managing a business. The program is held two nights per week over the course of 12 weeks.

Each session features business experts addressing topics critical to the growth of successful enterprises including accounting, legal, market research, real estate, taxes, insurance, payroll, cash flow, marketing, social media and more.

Participants develop a business plan, and toward the end of the course present the plan to a panel of judges. The winners of the business plan competition receive a $1,500 cash grant from Sunmark Federal Credit Union, a one-year Chamber membership, office equipment from Repeat Business Systems, promotional items from Safeguard, an education package from Excelsior College and two computer courses from MicroKnowledge.

Registration is currently open for the Spring 2018 class. Contact Janet Tanguay if you are interested.

Here is the rundown of the winners of the FAll 2017 Businness Plan Competition:

4th prize went to John Crossman of Claim to Fame Entertainment. John presented with his son and one of the co-owners of the business, Mike Crossman.  They are a gaming company and set up experiences in Crossgates Mall at Lucky Strike where participants compete against one another for prizes but also learn new tricks in gaming from one another.  John is a military veteran.  He had perfect attendance in the class.  His business plan was strong as was his presentation. John wins courses from Microknowledge, Schenectady County Community College and Excelsior College.

3rd prize went to mother/daughter team of Charlotte and Katie Melsert of TBG Craft Beverage Center and Bar.  TBG stands for Tall Blonde Girl.  Katie currently works for a brewery and knows an incredible amount about beer.  They wrote a very strong business plan and presented well.  They will win the Ricoh printer from Repeat Business Systems and the $100 Gift Card from Safeguard.

2nd prize went to Danielle Davis of The Dutch Pot.  The Dutch Pot is a Jamaican restaurant located in Empire Plaza.  Danielle offered dinner to the panelists which included jerk chicken, rasta pasta, mac and cheese, rice, corn bread and rum cake.  It was absolutely delicious.  The panel admired Danielle’s passion and hard work and dedicated to this business.  She’s been in business for 5 years.  A lot of restaurants fail within the first three years and Danielle’s persistence and ability to shift focus and listen and try new things to be sustainable is what pushed her to the top.  Danielle wins a one-year Chamber membership.  This membership will allow her to network, and will be a cornerstone of marketing through engagement and word of mouth advertising.

1st prize went to Katie Phillips of Twist-It Designs.  Katie currently works for a graphic design company in Scotia to gain experience. She started as an intern to learn the industry.  She clearly asked for the money and wants to buy equipment to be able to open her own shop.  Katie is the youngest entrepreneur ever to win top prize in the business plan competition.  She receives the $1,500 cash grant from Sunmark FCU.

Lean more about the Entrepreneur Boot Camp and watch videos of past winners