Shoe soles that provide comfort, and also double as a GPS. An environmentally-conscious food truck concept. A subscription-based company that sends monthly packages filled with necessities to college students to make academic life easier.
These are just some of the entrepreneurial ideas from Long Island students that are making it to the Virtual Enterprises’ National Business Plan Competition, which takes place at the organization’s annual Youth Business Summit at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.
Ten Long Island schools are finalists in this year’s competition, which aims to showcase some of the top student leaders and budding entrepreneurs in the country.
Those finalists include D.R.E.A.M. from Connetquot High School, Lunch BX from Syosset High School, Drip from Syosset High School, Elyts from Jericho Senior High School, Easy PC from Herricks High School, NaturalBOWLS from Sanford H. Calhoun High School, EcoEats from Westhampton Beach High School, Nectar from Westhampton Beach High School, SmartSoles from Lynbrook High School and Thrive Healthy Living from Syosset High School.
More than 2,400 students from 80 Long Island schools attended VE’s Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition held at LIU Post from Jan. 10-11. During that time, dozens of students presented business plans to a panel of judges during the first round of the business plan competition. In total, 40 student businesses were chosen to advance to the competition’s second round, yielding the 10 Long Island finalists.
During the Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition, nearly 100 simulated businesses created and run by Long Island students participated in a live, interactive trade show and competed for best business plan, best sales pitch, best exhibit booth, and more. The annual event draws Long Island students who run simulated businesses with their classmates involved in the VE program as well as around 100 corporate volunteers from regional business, colleges, and industry.
The competition is a program under New York-based Virtual Enterprises International, which was founded in 1996. The program is designed to solve one of the biggest challenges facing education and the economy today – providing students with the best career and college-readiness experiences possible. At a time when only 43 percent of employers surveyed in the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Study feel students are prepared with the professionalism and work ethic needed for careers, VE’s apprenticeship model aims to help students identify a career path, develop 21st-century business and management skills and help shape their college journey.