Winners Announced For Incubator Student Business Competition

From left are Lori Lehnen, Tim O'Malley, Rae-Anne Clarke, Nate Aldrich and Michael Borello.

FREDONIA — Rae-Anne Clarke is the winner of the fourth annual Student Business Competition hosted by the Fredonia Technology Incubator.

The program offers a $1,200 grand prize along with admittance into the incubator program.

The 2019 grand prize winner was Rae-Anne Clarke, with her business A Touch of Rae. Touch of Rae offers affordable/high quality hair; the judges highlighted her established brand name, an in-depth business plan and her overall knowledge of her companies goals and ideals.

Runner up Tyler Walsh was awarded six months of Fredonia Technology Incubator services. Walsh’s business, the Revenue record label, aims is to give artists proper tools and resources.

The judges for this year’s competition included: Nate Aldrich, Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation community economic development specialist; Lori Lehnen, entrepreneur in residence and owner of L2 Engineering D.P.C; Tim O’Malley, incubator client and owner of MarsBux Technologies, LLC; Michael Borrello, associate at Phillips Lytle LLP; and Dr. Susan McNamara, associate professor at the State University at Fredonia.

“It was a very close competition. Many students had great ideas, and we encourage everyone to keep working. Unfortunately, we could only select one Grand Prize Winner. We are proud to have chosen A Touch of Rae, a well-organized business run by a passionate entrepreneur that has already managed to turn a profit. We felt that the prize could most readily assist Rae in scaling her business and expanding her target market. We look forward to working with Rae and watching her business grow,” Borrello said.

Students were judged on a variety of criteria including: customer identification, problem/solution identification, channel to market, and revenue streams based off the business model canvas.

The Student Business Competition is designed to help Fredonia student entrepreneurs present business ideas, develop proposals, and receive guidance from experienced business mentors to help launch their business.

The winner of the competition will earned a paid entrepreneurial internship as well as an office at the Incubator for one year. As a client of the incubator, the winner has access to all services including administrative and business services, mentoring, networking, professional consulting, educational opportunities, and access to capital as well as work ready space.