November 15, 2018

Three Food-Based Businesses and a Graphic Designer Win More Than $5,000 in Prizes in Capital Region Chamber Entrepreneur Boot Camp’s Business Plan Competition

Entrepreneur Boot Camp Fall 2018 Class

27 Capital Region entrepreneurs in 26 twenty-six businesses (one partnership) have built a foundation to expand their businesses following their successful completion of the Capital Region Chamber’s 60-hour award-winning Entrepreneur Boot Camp training course, specially designed for starting and growing businesses.

“We had another waiting list for this program and were at capacity again this semester starting with 30 students in the course,” said Director of Entrepreneurship, Janet Tanguay. “They were unified and collaborative in the way they showed up for each other during the program from attending each other’s events to helping each other with business plans and I know this will contribute to their success going forward,” said Tanguay, who is leaving her position after 13 years to pursue her own entrepreneurial ventures on a full-time basis.

The entrepreneurs graduated from the Chamber’s fall 2018 boot camp course during a ceremony held at Sunmark Federal Credit Union’s corporate offices in Latham.

During the event, Sunmark Federal Credit Union presented Heidi Nathanielsz of Market Pops a cash grant of $2,000 and a one-year Capital Region Chamber membership. Nathalnielsz is also the manager of the Entrepreneurs Organization locally.  Tieece Dixon of TieBerry Sweets was presented with a $1,000 check from Whiteman, Osterman, Hanna and also won a Ricoh printer from Repeat Business Systems and a $100 gift card from Safeguard and Ilene Friedman of Send Me Waffles won $500 in cash prizes from Call Sheilah! and Cornell Cooperative Extension along with courses and college credits from MicroKnowledge and Schenectady County Community College.  Taryn Sipperly of Sipperly Graphics won $250 from Ungerman Electric.

Mark Eagan, CEO of the Capital Region Chamber, was Master of Ceremonies for the event. JoDee Kenny of Spectrum News and the Podcast “Success with JoDee Kenney” was the Keynote speaker and offered great advice to the start-up companies. Shoprite offered scholarships to military veterans again this year. Janet Tanguay from the Regional Chamber and Frank DeGraw and Jay Singh from Sunmark FCU handed out certificates and prizes accompanied by Rena Graf Music.

The award-winning 10-week course, taught through the Chamber’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp Training Course, educated entrepreneurs on the critical skills necessary for business growth and expansion. The classes blended classroom and individual training with lectures by prominent business experts. Special guest lecturers (80 overall) covered topics including branding, advertising, legal issues, market research, demographics, sales, financing, leadership, diversity and inclusion, social media, presentations skills, accounting and more.

This semester’s judges of the business plan competition included in Jenn Dugan of the Makeup Curio, Kristine Lambracht of Jerzey’s Dog Resort, Jay Singh from Sunmark FCU, Destiny Watkins from the Community Loan Fund, and Khamel Abdulai from Excelsior College. The class was so large that the first-round business plan competition judges were called in and they included Deirdre Ford of Infinity Trade Solutions, Deshaya Williams of Renewed Youth, Jolene Lomnes of Informative Project Solutions and Cameron Erickson of Camelot Solutions.

Fall 2018 Entrepreneur Boot Camp graduate businesses/entrepreneurs include:

Nidhi Agrawal, Haldi Snacks
StaEsha Anderson & Shawn Martinez, Anderson Security Services
Wendy Babcock, Cork & Spoon
Lisa Birmingham, The Relief Room
Teresa Brisco, Branded by Brisco
Travis Clemons, Business Advisor
Deanna Cooper, Staff Onboard
Christos Damaskos, incredi.bowl
Charlotte Davis, Painted Jane’s
Tieece Dixon, TieBerry Sweets
DC Dunkel, Few Dreams Life Coach
Ron Frey, Opa’s Eis Haus
Andre Goodbee, Goodbee Controls
Ilene Friedman, Send Me Waffles
Shaquiesha Harrison, Authentic Hair Authority
Taufiq Hassan, THG – The Hassan Group
Chris La Rocca, Upstage to Sell
Amy LaGrange, Get It Done Senior Concierge
Daniel Laiosa, Get Busy Livin’ Travel
Lurissa Lawson, Upstate NY Hair & Beauty Expo
Andrew McCarty, BioSoil Farm
Heidi Nathanielsz, Market Pops
Adam Petela, Local Design Studio
Abigail Rockmacher, The DillyBean
Taryn Sipperly, Sipperly Graphics
Andrea Williams, Bag EnV

Entrepreneur Boot Camp is supported by the Capital Region Chamber and the Empire State Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program. Sunmark FCU is the major sponsor.  For more information about the program, contact Director of Entrepreneurship, Janet Tanguay, at 518-431-1430 or by email at

The Spring 2019 boot camp begins in February 2018 and registration is now underway.