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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.

Photo of John Diorio
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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

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Fab way to bridge the gap between great ideas and sustainable business models. Will be great for us all to think about ways we might build upon this for our upcoming Ideas phase to scale the notion of encouraging more robust pathways for wanna-be entrepreneurs.