Programs > Summer > Upcoming BizCamp 2006
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BizCamp students selling to customers at Wal_Mart sales event

Leadership is knowing
what you want and
making it happen

 -Miriam Colon



BizCamp 2006

Click on any image to see a larger version of the image.

BizCamp Sales Event held outside Wal-Mart

BizCamp is E CITY’s summer program and is open to high school students from Cleveland and surrounding suburbs.  BizCamp is just like our after-school programs, during which students learn about opportunity recognition and are taught to write business plans for their own small businesses…but BizCamp meets all day, every day, for two weeks.  Most summers, we run two BizCamps!  We’re thankful for friends at Tri-C Metro Campus, who have donated meeting space and lunch for all of our students.  And, thanks to our many additional donors who have provided all of the $1,000 scholarships for 20 students in each camp. 

We completed two BizCamps between June 13 and June 30!

Basic BizCamp I

Our lead teacher was Rodney Decipeda (Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher and Lincoln West science teacher) and he was assisted by Greg Malkin (University School math teacher) and Peg Zitzner (E CITY web master and Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher).

19 students participated in this program, from a variety of Cleveland schools and from Garfield Heights, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and University School. 

Thank you to our volunteer business plan coaches:

David Boone

Charles Burkett

Ron Cohen

Jim Hatton

Greg Ferrazza

Anju Matthew

Richard Eshleman

Daniel Young

Farley Helms

Corasse Germany-Hawkin

Jaye Ramanan

Dennis Ross

Rina Spyrou

Michael Goldberg

Tory Coates

And thank you to these volunteers who served as judges at the business plan competition:


Paul DeLuca

Marshall Emerson III

Larry Goddard

Randy Markey

Bill Leahy 


Congratulations to these students, who won prizes at the competition:

J. Michael Mentrek    1st Place ($150) for “DJ J Productions”

Ariana Smith-Bland    2nd Place ($100) for “Monai Enterprise” (tissue holders)

Alex Barrett               3rd Place ($50) for “The Grocery Express” (delivery service)

Basic BizCamp II
Our lead teacher was Alisa Smedley (Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher) and she was assisted by Rita Dent and Tanisha Jackson-Long (also a Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher

Thank you to these volunteers who were business plan coaches:

David Boone

Andre Bryan

Michael Bull

Nina Talley

George Williams

Allison Motz

Matt Salmon

Sonja Thomas

Ray Leach

Jen Schueller

Jessica Ciccarelli

And thank you to these volunteers who were judges at the business plan competition:

Sharron Gordon

Douglas Magill

Robert Richardson

Raymon Spottsville

Congratulations to these students who won prizes at the business plan competition:

Anntwinette Martin    1st Place ($150) for “Urban Beauty” (hair salon)

Danielle Kirkpatrick   2nd Place ($100) for “Dynasty Books” (self-help books for teens)

Gabrielle White         3rd Place ($50) for “The Beauty Revealer” (beauty consultant)

Students working together preparing for their sales event.

E CITY completes its very first Advanced BizCamp!

Eleven alumni spent August 14-18 in an all-day “camp” to learn how to take their businesses or business plans to a higher level of sophistication.  The camp was hosted by Cleveland State University’s Nance College of Business, and was taught by Katerina Zacharia, a Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher/Teacher Trainer, who works with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) out of New York City.  Funding for the camp was provided by The Coleman Foundation, of Chicago.

“It was more of a forum than a class,” explains participant Erica Maines, who praised the ways that Katerina “taught us to teach ourselves, and didn’t just give us material from a textbook."

Erica used the week to think more carefully about the marketing side of her gift basket business.  She’s going to do more to go to her customers, instead of passively waiting for them to come to her

“The camp wasn’t at all a selfish thing,” Erica added.  “We helped each other come up with ideas for the improvement of our businesses and we worked as a group.”

“The camp was phenomenal and it really opened my eyes to the financial side of business,” reported Cory Johnson.

“I appreciated the personalized feedback from the instructor and my coach,” says Ariana Smith-Bland, who now understands why she needed to raise the prices on her tissue holders, and how easy it would be to expand her product line to include covers for such items as i-pods and laptop computers.

These same students won venture capital prizes at the business plan competition:

Ariana Smith-Bland              $1,000

Erica Maines                         $500

Cory Johnson                        $250

Ariana also won the opportunity to participate in the upcoming NFTE/Smith Barney National Business Plan Competition in New York City.

We thank these volunteers who helped make this camp an awesome experience for our students:

Guest Speakers:

Rocco DiLillo              City Visitor, Inc.

Diana Richards            Vacuum Systems International, Inc.

 Nick Palazzo              STACK Magazine

Mack Danzey               Danzey Landscaping

Business Plan Coaches:

Andre Bryan

Charles Burkett

Michael Cheravitch

Ron Copfer

Greg Ferrazza

Ramadesikan Gandarvakottai

Jim Hatton

Greg Hostelley

Scott Jared

Jennifer Kovell

Jeff Nischwitz

Shawn Rech

Business Plan Judges:

Andrew Harris

John Rampe

Lisa Tomlin-Houston

Jessica Varni

R. Charles VerMerris


Students and Coaches working on business plans

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