Students earn first, second place at Shark Tank-style competition


Students from East Meadow High School’s business department earned first place and the overall highest score at the Nassau County Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge for helping create the CollegePro smart phone application.

The CollegePro app compiles all the important information needed during the college application process in one place. It allows for ease of functionality, organization and specific customization as required by the end user.

Leading the group was Chief Executive Officer Anusha Arora, Chief Financial Officer Matthew Owens, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Forrier, Natalie Schmidlin and Daniel Kaufman, who were co-vice president of operations duties, and Ryan DeRosa and Jarret Piccione, as general counsel.

This year’s competition, held on March 29 at SUNY Old Westbury, was themed “Civic Association” and included the categories of social entrepreneurship and technology.

Additionally, another group of students won second place for creating a machine called “Drop Cycle.” Using computer-aided design, the students created a 3D prototype of a machine that would recycle “rigid” products of all types for rewards — an option that is currently limited to only plastic bottles.

The company included Chief Executive Officer Victoria Cuttone, Chief Financial Officer Alexis Caruso, Vice President of Operations Sammy Hauser, Chief Marketing Officer Leila Sayan, Nathan Brown and Anthony Valentin, as general counsel, and Jolie Pavia on the administrative team.

At the end of the day, a “Shark Tank” playoff pit two teams in each category against one another for a first place trophy. The CollegePro team members achieved the top award of the day for their pitch and product.

“The district is thankful for the opportunity to showcase our student’s business and entrepreneurship abilities by allowing them to transition the skills they learn in our business classrooms to real world activities,” said Business Chairperson Toni McIntosh.

—Brian Stieglitz