June 01, 2012 08:00 ET

100 Boston-Area High School Students to Compete for VC Funding to Launch Business at Inaugural Youth Business Plan Competition

The BUILD Greater-Boston Youth Business Competition Connects 9th Grade Entrepreneurs to Venture Capitalist, Business and Community Leaders

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Jun 1, 2012) -

BUILD-Greater Boston hosts its inaugural Youth Business Plan Competition where 100 students will present their innovative business ideas and prototypes to a panel of judges. Winners receive start-up funds to launch their business. The BPC celebrates students' creativity and energy, on a day of competition where one team will emerge victorious, and everybody wins. BUILD runs the largest youth business incubator in the country, and uses entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low income students through high school to college success.


  • One-hundred 9th grade students to present their innovative business ideas in two rounds of competition.
  • Mayor Thomas Menino to deliver opening remarks
  • BUILD Founder and CEO, Suzanne McKechnie Klahr
  • Leading business executives to serve as judges:
    • Chris McIntosh, Publisher, Boston Business Journal
    • Bob Sheridan, President and CEO, SBLI Insurance
    • Steve DiFillippo, CEO, Davio's
    • John Jenkins, President, West Insurance Agency
    • Eran Lobel, CEO and Executive Producer, Element Productions
    • Sonia Alleyne, VP of Community Relations, Sovereign Bank
    • Charlotte Streat, CEO, Building Impact
    • Sandy Lish, Principal and Co-Founder, The Castle Group
    • Paula Wright, Owner, D&P Associates

Saturday, June 2nd. Final round competition: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

(Media can film during the final competition to capture student presentations. Four business teams will pitch their business plans in the final round, interspersed by tributes to teachers, mentors, and student ambassadors. Final announcement of winners and check presentation to be made at 3:00pm).

Blackman Auditorium in Ell Hall, Northeastern University, 342 Huntington Avenue, Boston.

Founded in 1999, BUILD believes that the power of student ideas in action drives youth to reach their fullest potential in school and beyond. The four-year high school program offers a unique blend of entrepreneurship, academics, and personal support that attracts and motivates many students who are otherwise at high risk of failing classes and dropping out of high school.

BUILD students develop their own business ideas, write business plans, pitch to funders, and launch real businesses. This real-world business experience makes school relevant and motivates at-risk youth to succeed. To help them become college-eligible, students also receive individualized academic support and advising for their school-work and college planning.

BUILD currently serves over 900 high school students at programs located in Boston, MA; Redwood City and Oakland, CA; and Washington, DC. For more information:

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    Ayele Shakur
    Regional Executive Director
    Email Contact