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Ancell School of Business graduate student Michael Carpanzano impresses
With an award-winning business plan and a unique patented product waiting to hit the market, graduate student Michael Carpanzano’s latest idea could someday be found in every household across the country.

The invention, “nuplug,” recently earned Carpanzano first place in the personal business model category in a competition sponsored by The Entrepreneurship Foundation in Fairfield. The statewide competition attracted business plans and product ideas from undergraduate and graduate students from every university and college in the state. The winning model was selected from 10 finalists.

Carpanzano’s simple design enabled him to be a strong contender in a competition with few individual product submissions.  He explained,

“Nuplug was a contender because it was not overly complicated. It has interesting features but nothing too extravagant and just about everyone could see the utility for it. It was a clearly defined product that was simple and simply novel-”

The idea for the product was born a few years ago and had a couple different iterations leading to this latest model. In its simplest description, the nuplug is an extension cord with a clamping mechanism used to provide more convenient and comfortable access to one’s smartphone device as it charges. Containing both standard outlets and USB ports also allows for versatility.

Carpanzano, who noted always having an entrepreneur mindset even as a young child is currently working toward his MBA at Western’s Ancell School of Business. He also runs a small residential construction company, Sherman Building Design, in the Sherman-New Milford area.

Planning to enter nine more competitions during his final semester at the university, Michael Carpanzano is a strong advocate for higher education. He stated,

“There is a general asset that comes from being in academia. You are around like-minded peers and faculty who want to help you and see you professionally, which is quite special. I would never have won this award had I not been a student and had access to the wealth of resources at this university.”

Carpanzano added that the faculty at the Ancell School of Business helped him refine his ideas, apply for the competitions and ultimately put him on a successful path.

Winning the award has brought tremendous confidence to Carpanzano and his product. Receiving reassurance by winning the esteemed competition is another great leap forward for the entrepreneur. His success proves what a special institution Western Connecticut State University is.

To fellow students and entrepreneurs Carpanzano offered this final remark, “Make the best out of every experience. A lot of people only get one shot and some don’t even get that. Don’t sit around waiting for life to happen; take initiative and advantage of every resource and opportunity you come across.”

For more information on the “nuplug,” please visit

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