Increase Youth Entrepreneurship: High School Business Plan Competition
High school students work in small groups to create an innovative business model or product. They then create a presentation as if they are attempting to sell it to investors. Both West Virginia University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute sponsor business plan competitions for high school students. The universities give teams their own coach, usually a student, alumni, or local business leader, to guide them through their preparation. They also host the competition. Winning teams receive a few thousand dollars to put toward developing their business. These competitions provide students with a platform to explore their entrepreneurial spirit. Encouraging students to create their own business allows them to learn and earn simultaneously.
This year the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute sponsored competitoin featured a machine to remove water from tennis courts, 3-D fitting room software, and exercise equipment that stores energy.
The West Virginia University sponsored competition also highlights that business plans should include:
- Company description
- Product/service description
- Competitive Differentiation
- Customer and market analysis, including market size and potential customers
- Competitor Analysis