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Third-Year NECO Students Take Part in Business Plan Competition

Five teams vie for a $1500 cash prize from Essilor of America

Teams of third-year students from Dr. David Mills’ Ophthalmic Business and Management Policy Course competed on April 14th during Visionaries Day for a cash prize from Essilor at New England College of Optometry. During their presentations, the top five student groups presented their mock business plans to a team of judges. This year’s judges included Mr. Dana Beards, University and Student Relations for VSP Provider Services, Mr. Andrew W. Hoar, President and Co-Managing Partner, CBRE, Mr. Wesley Atwood, Associate Director at Essilor of America, and Dr. Janelle Routhier, Senior Director of Customer Development, Essilor of America. NECO received a Practice Management Education (PME) Award from ASCO this year to help defray some costs for travel and accommodations for the judges.

In their presentations, students discussed their choice of location, its impact on business, their chosen staff and the attributes they contribute, business goals and mission, core competencies of the firm, inventory, equipment, management, finances, target markets, a SWOT analysis, and internal and external marketing. Through the presentations, teams hoped to convey their strategy for maintaining and growing their businesses. The judges selected the winner based on their methodical approach and their considerations of the market, including what services would be best received. This year’s award went to the team representing Riverdale Family Eye Clinic: Stephan Hanowsky, April Johnson, Michael Santos, Kelly Schoorens, and Joseph Van Cura.
Business Plan Competition

In addition to the Business Plan Competition, Dr. Mills awarded a student group the Sabre Cup for their work with the business simulator. The group was chosen for their work making business decisions managing a practice through a simulated optometric business during the semester and tracked by Dr. Mills. Using a cloud-based simulator developed by Dr. Mills, Cam Tipping, and Essilor developers, students learn about the challenges facing optometrists and the strategies they can employ to be successful. This simulator model is now used in over ten other optometry schools to help students gain these business fundamentals. Read more about the innovative business and management policy course taught by Dr. David Mills.

SABRE Cup winners for 2015

Business Plan Competition