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Talented Young West Islip Entrepreneurs Shine in Lion’s Den

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Guided by advisers Monica Krawczyk and Joanne Macrelli, the high school’s Future Business Leaders of America club recently hosted its fourth annual Lion’s Den Marketing Challenge, an event based on the popular TV reality show “Shark Tank.”

The day started with a gourmet breakfast served to the students in the school’s Bistro Café, providing them time to network and prepare to present their new business concepts to this year’s panel of “Lions,” consisting of Assistant Principal Craig Gielarowski, business education teacher Frank Franzone, FBLA Co-Presidents Anthony Cairo and Patrick Sullivan, FBLA Co-President, and former FBLA President and Class of 2016 graduate Taras Tabachnyuk.

A total of 12 teams presented their innovative ideas for new products or services. The students had to explain their companies’ business plans and answer challenging questions from the Lions, with Team No. 7 - Joel Adames, Nick Aliani, Jon Basile, Tyler Busching, Jason Galleto, Michael Knecht and Connor Martin – proving the most impressive for their concept and presentation of the “Dynamo Bottle” water filtration and temperature control system.

“All of the teams did an outstanding job,” said Krawczyk. “It was extremely gratifying to watch all these young entrepreneurs present their original ideas, and to see how professionally they were able to handle the grueling questioning session from the Lions. Congratulations to all the students participating who exhibited innovative and entrepreneurial aptitudes and spirits.”