SOURCE: Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine

August 04, 2015 13:35 ET

Teens Win International Business Plan Competition

Renowned Judges Chose Winners for Design of a Transdermal Patch for Heart Disease at Concordia University Irvine Annual 'Teen Entrepreneur Academy'

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 4, 2015) - More than 100 teens from six states and four countries (China, France, Singapore, and Canada) reported for "work" July 12-18 during the sold out fourth annual Teen Entrepreneur Academy (TEA), hosted by Concordia University Irvine's School of Business. 

The week-long international business start-up program is designed for high school students interested in starting their own businesses or learning the principles of entrepreneurship. Students learned basic business principles, how to start a company and culminated with a business plan competition sponsored by Citi. Student teams were given eight minutes to create and present a 12-slide investor PowerPoint presentation to a judging panel of CEOs and entrepreneurs. Three students from Irvine high schools won first place, a $1,000 top prize. 

More than 30 business owners and entrepreneurs, including 41st Treasurer of the United States Rosario Marin, volunteered their time to coach, mentor student teams, and judge for the Citi Business Plan Competition. Placing first was team ENESi, made up of Tony Hsu and Natasha Takahashi, both of Woodbridge High School, and Katherine Wong of Beckman High School, located in Irvine, Calif. ENESi, "injection" in Greek, designed plans for creating a transdermal patch for coronary artery disease (CAD) as an alternative to injections or oral medications. Laura Green, Vice President of Community Bank in Anaheim, Calif., served as the team's mentor. Students incorporated business principles such as customer profiles, unique selling propositions, product features and benefits, marketing strategies, financial projections, cost of goods and services, and consumer needs into their business plans. This was the first year Citi sponsored the business plan competition. Citibank Southern California Market President Lisa Deloney talked with all the teens and congratulated the winning team.

For team member Tony Hsu, his inspiration was family. "I've always had this passion for helping other people," said the high school senior. "Both of my grandparents have heart issues and it's unpleasant to watch them endure the pain. Designing a product like this has been very emotional for me."

Students learned real-life lessons, as well. Seeing how entrepreneurs' minds work continuously stood out for Beckman High School sophomore Katherine Wong. "At some point in your business, you're going to get your hands dirty," Wong said. Fellow team member Natasha Takahashi was also inspired. "It was incredible to meet driven entrepreneurs, successful and inspirational leaders in the business world," said Takahashi.

"The Teen Entrepreneur Academy is about helping teenagers succeed in business, education and life," explains TEA Founder and Concordia University Irvine's Dean of the School of Business and entrepreneurship instructor Stephen Christensen. "It's never too early to teach kids about business. Educators and entrepreneurs continue to emphasize the importance of youth entrepreneurship programs. At TEA, we teach a free enterprise and self-responsibility mindset, an entrepreneurial worldview that trains teens to see problems as opportunities and always ask, 'What If?' For teens to achieve educational and career success, they must become financially literate, business savvy and empowered to navigate today's work place economic complexities."

Small businesses continue to be the largest source of job creation. The most recent ADP Employment Report showed that businesses with 50 or fewer employees created 55 percent of new jobs in April 2015. This year marked the Academy's first year to sell out attendance.

ABOUT TEEN ENTREPRENEURIAL ACADEMY
Founded in 2011, by Dean of the School of Business at Concordia University Irvine Stephen Christensen, the Teen Entrepreneur Academy is designed to equip entrepreneurial-minded teens with a practical hands-on learning experience in order to develop confidence and leadership skills. Role playing, business simulation, classroom lessons, field trips, guest speakers and a business plan competition are part of the week-long academy camp hosted at Concordia University Irvine in Southern California; 2016 dates are July 24-30, 2016. For more information, visit www.cui.edu/tea .

Contact Information