The passion to solve problems: this is what unites ESU students Jose Nunez and Nick Frassinelli. They competed in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) business plan competition and finished as semi-finalists.
Shooting for the grand prize of $10,000, they finished strong with something more valuable: knowledge.
Nunez was previously a pre-med major at ESU but discovered his new passion in business.
Changing his major to Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship, Nunez was intent on making a difference for the average person.
“I always thought that me being in a hospital setting, me being a doctor, I could help people. But, it dawned on me that I could help people in other aspects,” Nunez said.
Frassinelli is a physics major at ESU. According to Frassinelli, while one may have a passion for their craft, it is always important to keep options available.
“Business is a vehicle for doing other things,” Frassinelli said.
The creation of Nunez and Frassinelli’s business plans were built with problem-solving in mind.
“When there’s a problem, I always try to think of a solution. I was just researching a bunch of things and in [Innovations and New Creations] I learned that most inventions come from prior experience,” Nunez said. From there, it became Nunez’s goal to uncover a problem that not only he has gone through, but others as well.
The solution that Nunez came up with is his company NuTech. NuTech is a company focused on incorporating current technology in a better way. An example of this focus is the wearable technology industry – an industry Nunez is interested in due to its convenience and ease of access for its consumers.
Frassinelli has a parallel way of thinking when it comes to finding solutions. “I know that I like solving problems, it’s a character trait about me.
I don’t know if I have too much of a preference in where I’m solving problems – as long as it can keep me interested intellectually,” he said.
A physics major, and also a passionate writer, Frassinelli proposed the website, WritersTerminal.
To be concise, WritersTerminal is a hub where writers may be held accountable for their work, as well as a resource center for writing tips and services for those who are independent writers.
“There’s a big disconnect, I think, between short term and long term. Obviously, it’s in [the writer’s] best interest for finishing their work to put in the time every single day, but you can’t always see that,” Frassinelli said. He raises the point that many writers may become estranged from their initial long-term goals.
While some may want to take a day off WritersTerminal ensures that the writer remains on track.
Both Nunez and Frassinelli have benefitted from the excellent instruction and guidance from ESU’s staff.
As a former member of ESU’s Early Start Program, Nunez relates his success to his initial professors.
“It was Dr. Odeleye and Dr. Santiago. To this day they still help me; they’re the backbones of my success because without them I wouldn’t be here right now,” he said.
Nunez enrolled in the Early Start Program twice to ensure his adjustment to the college workload, and his professors were there to help him each step of the way.
“Ever since day one they saw my potential and just wanted me to be the best that I could be.”
Without prior business experience, Frassinelli made connections with those who could help him with his business plan ambitions: namely, Dr. Keith Modzelewski, director business accelerator & entrepreneurship, and economic development & entrepreneurship.
“He helped me out through the entire process, he was great,” Frassinelli said. “It was a lot of trial and error. I’d write something and Dr. Modzelewski would be like ‘that doesn’t make sense.’”
Frassinelli and Dr. Modzelewski initially met every week and then shifted to once every two weeks while Frassinelli was developing his business plan.
Nunez and Frassinelli were brought into into the business world and the life of a modern-day entrepreneur.
By placing as semi-finalists, and producing business plans to be critiqued by experts in that field, Nunez and Frassinelli achieved a high level of familiarity to the business world.
One thing is certain for Nunez and Frassinelli: they have unlimited prospects for success. Both students are well versed in other subjects, but see business as an integral part of society that should be used not only to benefit themselves but others as well.
When asked about the future, Nunez stated, “I want to be where the opportunity is.”
This statement depicts the adaptability of Nunez and Frassinelli, a former pre-med major and a passionate physics major.
The experience offers students with firsthand experience in entrepreneurship and offers them a $10,000 grand prize to go towards their business plan.
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