2018 NJ/PA Business Expo and Business Plan Competition Recap

January 18, 2018
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florham Campus
Madison, New Jersey

Key Stats

  • 200+ total attendees
  • 11 schools
  • 11 firms
  • 4 competitions

Competition Results

Here are the winners of the Business Plan Competition:

First Place: Unperplexed Solutions, The Academy for Math, Science & Engineering
Second Place: 0ptimal Performance, Whippany Park High School
Third Place: Luxury Lifts, Hanover Park High School

Results for top teams in Booth Design, Sales Materials, and Salesmanship can be found at the Competitions Results page.

View Competition Results

Thank You to Our Supporters

On behalf of the VEI, we would like to say a big thank you to the following:

  • Timur Parkay, Executive Director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University for sponsoring this event, for the second year in a row.
  • Staff at the Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University, for their hospitality and collaboration.
  • Rhonda Doak, for her efforts in coordinating the event.
  • All of our judges, for giving their time and expertise to help our students.

The success of this event would not have happened without their help.

2018 New York Citywide Business Plan Competition Recap

VE firm The Vision Media posted a recap of the 2018 New York Citywide Business Plan Competition that took place on January 10, 2018. The article was submitted to them by VE’s NYC Regional Director, Paul Presti.

All the participants did a fantastic job, and here are the winners:

1st Place– Sprout, Edward R. Murrow High School

2nd Place– BluePrint, Francis Lewis High School

3rd Place– Nuapps, Francis Lewis High School

Honorable Mention– Plasma Comics, New Dorp High School

We would also like to provide a huge thank you to all the judges, and to BNP Paribas for hosting us!

To read the full article, use the following link: “NYC Business Plan Championships”

To see the 2018 New York Citywide Business Plan Competition photo gallery, use the link here.

The Sumter Item: “Class Transforms School Into Workplace”

C. Wood & Associates, a VE firm from Crestwood High School in South Carolina, was featured in an article by a local news publication last Sunday. Students had participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, put on by the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce in celebration of the virtual business.

“In the class, students learn initiative, creativity and organizational skills among many other skills . . . the virtual setting is just about as close to real as you can get.”

C. Wood & Associates is operating as C. Wood TV: Knights Broadcasting, Inc. this school year, broadcasting news to VE firms all over the country via their website.

To read the full article, use the following link: “Class Transforms School Into Workplace”

23ABC News: “Virtual Enterprises Conference and Exhibition Held at Rabobank”

23ABC News featured the 2018 California State Conference and Exhibition in an article published online:

“Students from all over California are participating in a two-day conference and exhibition in downtown Bakersfield.

There are 1500 students competing in the Virtual Enterprises California State Conference and Exhibition at Rabobank Arena on January 17 and 18. The students competing in rounds 3 and 4 of the State Business Plan Competition are among 42 firms that scored the highest in regional competitions held throughout the state in December.”

To read the full article, use the following link: “Virtual Enterprises Conference and Exhibition Held at Rabobank”

The Royal Gazette: “CedarBridge Prepares Students for Work”

Bermuda’s CedarBridge Academy has introduced a new series of courses designed to prepare students for their future careers, one of which is VE. The school states that these courses have added to the rigors and richness of their students’ education.

“CedarBridge is ensuring students succeed by receiving qualifications and skills necessary to move on and into work placement all whilst contributing to a daily enrollment in secondary education.”

Read the full article at the following link: “CedarBridge Prepares Students for Work”

2017 Illinois Business Plan Competition Recap

On Friday, December 8, 2017, eighteen VE firms competed in the 2017 Illinois Business Plan Competition held at Northern Illinois University-DeKalb Campus.

The following six firms advanced to the final round:

  • Clever Contraptions, St. Charles East High School
  • Core, Timothy Christian High School
  • Electric Avenue, St. Charles East High School
  • Innovatio, Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy
  • Mozzafiato, St Charles North High School
  • Wavelength, Cary-Grove High School

After another round of presentations, the following teams took the top two spots and will advance to the 2018 National Business Plan Competition:

1st place: Mozzafiato, St. Charles North High School

2nd place: Wavelength, Cary-Grove High School

All the students did an amazing job and the judges were very impressed with their work. Though not every firm will be advancing to nationals, students will definitely be using the feedback from the judges to adjust and improve their business ideas throughout the year!

2017 Illinois Student Leadership Conference Recap

Article submitted by Maddie Schaafsma, CMO of Core, Inc., Timothy Christian High School

On Thursday, October 5, the average person walking into Northern Illinois University’s Naperville campus would have seen hundreds of teenagers gathered together and talking. These teenagers were not just engaging in the typical getting-to-know-you chat, but instead, networking.

The Illinois Leadership Conference offers a chance for students from VE firms all over the state to meet each other and talk about their businesses and positions within them. Students were also able to discuss how their companies could form partnerships for the year. The entire day at the Leadership Conference was focused on networking, leadership, and gaining key knowledge to grow a business.

One highlight of the day for the VE students was listening to the keynote speaker, Judy Dawson, Development Specialist at Invest Aurora, share her business experiences and give advice on how to succeed in VE and the business world. Students also had the opportunity to ask further questions during a Q&A session.

In addition to a speech from the keynote speaker, students had the chance to attend other seminars, including a Business Plan Competition session, a presentation for chief executives, and sessions set up specifically for each department such as a Graphic Design session and a Social Media session.

Here’s what some students had to say:

“The Business Plan Competition session was excellent. [The speaker] talked about how to present a business plan in a professional way. I learned a lot in this session, especially about being confident and creative. This will help me in VE and in the real world; it helps with public speaking and presenting which is a good skill to have. It was also a great opportunity to network with peers from many other schools from around the state.”

– Trent Marrera, Finance Employee, Timothy Christian High School

“I was able to learn a lot through the different seminars. I learned how to become a better leader through Mr. Young’s Chief Executive Presentation. I am looking forward to applying it in the VE classroom.”

– Catherine Carter, Chief of Administration, Timothy Christian High School

The connections and knowledge students gained at the Leadership Conference will be applicable far beyond their high school years. Students left the conference feeling inspired and more knowledgeable about business, and each firm’s success this year is sure to reflect the key information and tips acquired from this experience.

Photo gallery from the event can be found here.

Chicago’s Daily Herald: “Cary-Grove students headed to national business competition”

The article features VE students from Cary-Grove High School’s VE firm, Wavelength, who will be traveling to New York City to compete in the 2018 Youth Business Summit.

The feature covers how the students prepared for the 2017 Great Lakes Trade Show and invited members of the public to an open house at the high school on January 9 so they can learn more about VE and view the students’ business plan presentation.

Here is how the students prepared:

“To learn how their proposed virtual engraving business would operate in the real world, students met with a dozen business professionals, visited TOBG Engraving in Crystal Lake, partnered with the industrial tech department at Cary-Grove and conducted focus groups with members of the high school booster club. They mastered their presentation skills by inviting school drama sponsor Laura Whalen and speech coach Stephanie Sukow to evaluate them.”

Read the full article by clicking the link below.

“Cary-Grove students headed to national business competition”

The Island Now: “Floral Park, Elmont teach business skills through Virtual Enterprises course”

“The class really helped me grow a lot as a person,” Jose Barcia, VE Alumnus, said, “At the beginning of the year, I fooled around but by the end, I was a completely different person.” Barcia also mentioned that at his job with Modell’s Sporting Goods, he has recorded the highest number of sales per month since he started working there, making 62 sales during his second month. The second-highest number of sales made was 15.

Robail Nasir, former VE CEO, said VE taught him the value of networking, and inspired him to join multiple college clubs in an effort to connect with more people. “That’s the main word that goes around every club and classroom.”

Shelby Suarez, current VE Human Resources associate, said her work in class has improved her skills with software such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. It has also helped her better differentiate between personal and business relationships.

Read full article using the link below

The Island Now: “Floral Park, Elmont teach business skills through Virtual Enterprises course”

2017 Southern Regional Conference and Exhibition Recap

November 20-21, 2017
LeConte Event Center
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Key Stats

  • 1,617 total attendees
  • 72 schools
  • 92 firms
  • 13 competitions (including Business Plan)
  • 7 states (Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee)

Competition Results

Southern Regional Business Plan Competition

Representing Tennessee

  1. Elysium, Bearden High School
  2. AuNaturale Spa and Hair, Inc., Oakland High School
  3. Extreme Adventures, East Hamilton High School
  4. The Animal Kingdom, Inc., Loretto High School
  5. Alpha and Omega, Lawrence County High School
  6. Kutt Loose, Siegel High School

Representing Missouri

  1. Global Goodies, Parkway West High School
  2. Arrow Shipping, Parkway South High School
  3. VIVID+, Parkway West High School

Congratulations to all the winners, and to Global Goodies, Elysium, and AuNaturale Spa and Hair, Inc who will be going to the 2018 National Business Plan Competition!

Results for Top 10 teams in Advanced Website, Booth Design, Company Branding, Company Newsletter, E-Commerce Website, Elevator Pitch, Human Resources, Impact Marketing, Marketing, Sales Materials, Salesmanship, and Video Commercial can be found at the Competitions Results page.

View Competition Results


Social Media Contest Winners

Bucket List, Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora, IL

For a comprehensive overview of their firm’s conference and exhibition experience:

VIVID+, Parkway West High School, Chesterfield, MO

For their great timelapse of the exhibition space and all the booths:

The Cozy Company, Stewarts Creek High School, Smyrna, TN

For their wonderful behind-the-scenes video of their class trip:

Thank You to Our Judges

On behalf of the VEI, we would like to say a big thank you to the following individuals who helped with the judging of the business plan competitions and all the live competitions the day of the conference and exhibition. The success of the conference would not have happened without their help.

Jutta Bangs, Director TSBDC Oak Ridge, TN
Richard Bettis, Sr. Commercial Loan Officer, Highland Union Bank
Doyle Boyd
Cliff Claudell, President, Greater Knoxville Score Chapter
Holly Cross
Felicia Demos, CFO, Demos’ Restaurants
Bruce Hayes, Director, Tennessee Small Business Development Center
Stephen Jenkins, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center
Tabitha King, Regal Title, LLC
Christopher SaluteAsst. Dean, Long Island University Global
Laura Overstreet, Sr. Business Specialist, TSBDC
Teresa Sylvia, Business Specialist, TSBDC
Mary Metz
Doug Minter, Knoxville Chamber Director of Small Business Development
Judi Molla
Linda Ousley, Former VE facilitator
Amy Pangelinan, Market President, Highland Union Bank
Pam Thurman, CTE Core Consultant
Christy Seals
Vanessa Thompson