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The Biz 1+2 Freshman Experience

From concept to commercialization

The spring semester culminates with final business plan presentations to seasoned business leaders


From day one, Saunders College first-year students jump head-first into their business education. The core courses, including The Freshman Experience: Biz 1+2 class, introduce fundamental business concepts to all students. Business plan ideation and conceptualization in the first semester educates on central elements of entrepreneurship, and exposes students to the vast resources available on campus. At the close of the spring semester, first-year students walk away with a breadth of business understanding and experience pitching new business commercialization plans to a panel of alumni and judges.

Continuing into the spring semester, student teams continue to work together and utilize their entrepreneurial skills to generate business ideas and develop a commercialization plan. As a final project, students present their plan to a panel of judges and receive practical, real-world advice; knowledge that only comes from experienced entrepreneurs. The judging panel consists of several Saunders alumni who relish returning to campus to share their knowledge with the next generation of Saunders students.

Recent Saunders alumni and Biz 1+2 judges have varied educational and work histories, but have a focus on entrepreneurship and business growth:

Steve Cutrona, MBA '92: Senior VP Sales at Salient Management Company
Patrick Benz, Business Hospitality '84: Principal, RFP Advisors
Michael Crowley: Consultant and Entrepreneur
Marco DiPasquale, Finance '83: Client Director at Optiv, a cyber security start-up
Chris Chamot, '09 : VP and General Manager, AJK Enterprises Inc.
Rob Giacchetti, Finance '92: Managing Partner at The Avanti Group
Gary Schwingel, Finance '91: CFO of Genesee Regional Bank
Alan Cohen, MBA '78: Independent consultant at Fair Winds Group
Kate Jacus, EMBA '09: Director of Marketing & Communications, Harley School
Terry Doherty, '70: Co-Founder of Robert George Sales

Completing their first-year with a well-rounded business curriculum, students are better prepared to enter into their upper-level program courses having a working knowledge of how their chosen career path interjects and effects other areas of business. The cohort model encourages open discussion and cooperative learning among students, important factors in developing T-shaped professionals.

Saunders College of Business provides students a hands-on education through applied learning – which is what sets us apart from other business schools. Learn more about our undergraduate programs, highly-accessible faculty, and student co-op outcomes.