Build Your Dream Business Pitch Competition

Build Your Dream Business Pitch Competition


Thursday April 19, 2018
NJCU School of Business, 2nd floor Lecture Hall

Five NJCU students have been selected to pitch their startup ideas to a group of business experts in entrepreneurship and a live audience for cash prizes. Join the fun and watch the finalists try to convince judges of their startup's value.

This student competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students throughout NJCU.


Corwin McCammon, graduate student Data Science/Business Analytics major - uPetPro aims to transform the world's animal lovers into pet care professionals by unifying the pet care ecosystem around emerging blockchain technologies, innovative products and services.

Glenn Zarmanov, sophomore Management major– Golden Grammar - tutoring services for ESL/TOEFL learning and tutoring for English courses in standardized test

Raven Smith, freshman Management major - Henrietta's - soul infused cuisine and universal flavors integrate to create community fine dining.

Joshua Gochiz, graduate Accounting major- Jogalavida - soccer street wear that connects culture with the modern soccer player.

Jose Santana, graduate Organizational Management & Leadership major- Think IT Project Management - IT project management and business analysis staffing and consulting


Al Parinello, ’73, Owner, Parinello Enterprises, born in Hoboken, NJ. At the age of 16, he went to go see Fantasticks at the Sullivan Street Theater in New York City. It changed his life and provided him with his love of the arts. Fifty years later, he is now producing the same show.

He attended Jersey City State College and graduated in 1973 with a degree in Media Ecology. Mr. Parinello credits his success to Professor Frank Capone and the Co-op Education program at Jersey City State College, through which he worked at ABC. He worked with Andy Kaufmann during the early part of his career.  He has worked for cable companies such as HBO, Nickelodeon, Showtime, Disney, and ESPN.  He previously owned classic rock station WJSE-102.7 FM.  He established his company as Jersey Shore Entertainment and then renamed it Parinello Enterprises. He has produced movies and theater. He owns and operates the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, NJ. Mr. Parinello has taught at the University as an adjunct and has served several times as a judge for the Build Your Dream Competition.

Vijay Sammy, ’93, CPA.
As a high student in Guyana South America, Vijay Sammy had the highest grades and received the best graduating student award from his high school. He was offered a job with the prestigious accounting firm, Touche Ross as an external auditor. Still a teen and working at the firm, he was given the opportunity to migrate to the United States to further his studies, leaving behind his family and all he knew.

Vijay graduated from NJCU in 1993 with a degree in accounting where he gained the necessary requirements to sit for the CPA, which he successfully passed. He is the 2011 recipient of the Richard H. Fabris Award. He started his own CPA practice where he has served over 200 businesses and has prepared thousands of tax returns for individuals and helped establish businesses within the Jersey City community.

He is a member of the American Institute of CPA and the NJ Society of CPA, serves as an usher in his church and has started the nonprofit organization, Hope for Family with his wife. Hope for Family provides financial literacy and job training for adolescents and adults.

Vijay has served several times as judge for the Build Your Dream competition.

Vanessa Quijano is the Small Business Development Coordinator at Jersey City Economic Development Corporation. She is an expert in corporate brand management, integrated marketing communications and annual reports. Vanessa is a seasoned manager who has led organizations to achieve brand and market presence.

Prior to joining JCEDC, Vanessa was with BASF and Engelhard Corporation. She holds a Master’s in public relations and corporate communications from New York University and a Bachelor’s in communications and digital marketing from Rutgers University.

This is her first time as judge for Build Your Dream.


Awarded the night of the competition.

First Prize - $1,000, Office space usage at Business Development Incubator, Business coaching from NJ Small Business Development Center.

Second Prize - $500, Business coaching from NJ Small Business Development Center.

Third Prize - $250, Assistance from NJ Small Business Development Center.

Student Choice Award - $100 Assistance from NJSBDC.

All receive academic medals and certificates

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