In our May 2012 print edition, we wrote some exciting entrepreneurs who are changing the way New York City does business. But what about the entrepreneurs of the future? Junior Achievement of New York recently awarded 16 high school students thousands of dollars in prize money, depending on how the team placed, in its fifth annual High School Business Plan Competition.
This year’s competition brought more than 190 student teams from 13 schools in the New York City area to the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square. Twenty-four students competed in the final round of the competition. The students created ideas and solutions to help with the business and social problems of their generation through various consumer goods, services, software apps, and other business initiatives. JA New York aims to encourage students to pave their own way to economic stability by helping them become problem solvers and contributors to the economy, both on a local and national scale.
Each team in the competition was evaluated by a panel of business entrepreneurs and experts. Not only did the judges award the top three prizes, but they also decided to award a fourth-place prize based on the caliber of the ideas presented—a prize unprecedented in this competition.
Guerrilla Coffee, the first-place winners from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, won for their go-to-market business service that provides advertising space on coffee and food carts. The sides of these carts offer a low-price solution to the low amount of advertising space in large cities and the team believes these carts can be used to appeal to local customers. The team was awarded a trophy for their school, and each of the four members of the team received $3,000 in prize money.
Amadeus, the second-place winners from the Bronx High School of Science, won second place for the second year in a row, and each of the four members of the team received $2,000 in prize money. This year, their idea featured a tablet app that provides musical help to both beginning and professional musicians. The app aims to help musicians in both their music composition and playing skills and helps to make them more musically literate.
The third-place winners, from W.T. Clarke High School in Long Island, each received $1,000 in prize money for the marketing of a low-cost cosmetic item that would allow people to remove white deodorant marks from clothes, without the use of any liquid cleaning method. These top three winners also all got the chance to participate in the NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell Ceremony at the end of the day. The fourth place spur-of-the-moment winner, Soul to Sole, presented an idea for a web-based company that specialized in limited edition, custom-decorated, youth footwear. For more information about the competition, visit www.jany.org.
Kate Riley is the editorial intern at NY Report. She can be reached at email@example.com.