2017 National Company Branding Competition Now Open

Submissions Period: 10/16/2017 – 11/3/2017
Judging Period: 11/4/2017 – 11/26/2017
Results Announced: Week of 12/4/2017

The 2017 National Company Branding Competition is now open! Firms will demonstrate their company branding through the submission of a branding package that includes the company logo, fonts, color palette and associated applications such as: company letterhead, business cards, envelopes, cover pages, sales materials, or other similar company documents. An effective brand will be memorable, versatile, relevant to the company’s business, and consistently applied across all elements. A versatile logo is one that will look good when applied in different applications, such as brochures, websites, or promotional pens.

Consult the Company Branding Rubric available at Portal / Competitions & Rubrics / Rubrics to review submission criteria, judging criteria, Career Readiness Framework alignment, and the scoring key. Remember to review previous branding package submissions and effective brands and brand packages made in the real-world. When you’re ready, use the Competitions Manager linked below to register and submit.

Go to Competitions Manager to Submit

 

Prepare By Reviewing Past Submissions

You can view previous top submissions by going to Competition Results. We’ve selected the following branding packages to help demonstrate what a successful branding package looks like according to the different submission elements.

 


Competitions Manager

National Online Competitions Main Page

Competition Results

NY Daily News: “Academy of Finance and Enterprise’s family atmosphere helps students achieve success”

Students Brandon Prenz (left) and Entasa Chowdhury (right) in class at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise. (Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News)

A Unique Class to Prepare Students for the Real-World

“One of the most unique classes the academy offers is the Virtual Enterprise program, which gives students the opportunity to run their own virtual company. Seniors Brandon Prenz and Entasa Chowdhury are in a class that manages Headstart Advisers, a virtual financial firm that deals with stocks and personal financial literacy for their clients. The class prepares students for the real world — something the 17-year-olds say gives them confidence and virtual experience that they turn into jobs.”

Esha Ray and Reuven Blau, “Academy of Finance and Enterprise’s family atmosphere helps students achieve success,” New York Daily News

Read the full article here.

Brazilian Ministry of Education Officials Learn About VE as Part of U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program

Seven high-level officials from the Brazilian Ministry of Education visited VEI’s National Office as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The program brings officials to the U.S. to visit educational institutions and meet with their counterparts to exchange experiences and best practices in innovative high school models that can help better bridge students to post-secondary education and/or the private sector.

The visitors interacted with VE student-employees of Imagination, Inc. at The Maxine Greene HS for Imaginative Inquiry in New York City, explored VE best practices for engaging young people in career-focused study and preparation, and learned about elements of the VE’s international program and how the VE program engages students in relevant cultural interaction and experiences.

Delegates meeting with VE students

International Visitor Leadership Program Objectives

The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project.

  • Provide participants with a panorama of the U.S. education system.
  • Introduce participants to key leaders from major associations, think tanks and/or research institutions in the area of education.
  • To visit different models of high performing and innovative schools – regular, magnet, vocational-technical, charter, others – to learn about the structure and financing of these schools, curriculum development, and partnerships (with the community, post-secondary institutions, the job sector).
  • Examine student performance evaluation methods.

Program Participants

  • Ricardo CORREA COELHO, Program Director, Ministry of Education
  • Eduardo DESCHAMPS, State Secretary of Education, State Secretariat of Education at Santa Catarina
  • Maria Ester GALVAO DE CARVALHO, President, State Council of Education of the State of Goias
  • Julio GREGORIO FILHO, State Secretary of Education, Secretariat of Education of the Federal District
  • Rafael Esmeraldo LUCCHESI RAMACCIOTTI, Director of Education and Technology, Brazilian National Confederation of Industry
  • Claudia Sueli RODRIGUES SANTA ROSA, State Secretary of Education, State Secretariat of Education of the State of Rio Grande do Norte
  • Rossieli SOARES DA SILVA, Secretary of Basic Education, Ministry of Education
  • Alessio TRINDADE DE BARROS, State Secretary of Education, State Secretariat of Education of the State of Paraiba
  • Jose Marcos Pereira, U.S. Department of State Interpreter
  • Alex C. Ladd, U.S. Department of State Interpreter
  • Sebastian Vasconcelos (Adminstrative), U.S. Department of State Interpreter

Further Reading

Korean Educators Learn About the VE Approach to Career Readiness

 

September 2017 Showcase: Teamwork makes the dream work

A main feature of the VE experience is “Assuming the Role” which means students interview for departments, such as Finance and Marketing, and roles, such as CEO, VP, and Associate. Below are some clips from VE’s social media world to show you what “Sep-team-ber” 2017 looks like as students enter their new professional roles and new company teams form in VE schools around the U.S.

Dressed for Success

VE Student Interviews


VE Student Employees

VEI Team Updates

As we enter October, these newly-formed teams of student business professionals will be starting to make their dreams work by forming their businesses, pitching and planning their businesses, and practicing and growing their career readiness competencies.

VE Program Featured as a Noteworthy Practice in New Report from the U.S. Department of Education

A new U.S. Department of Education report from the National Center for Innovation in Career & Technical Education (CTE) outlines the opportunities, challenges, instructional approaches, and noteworthy practices of U.S.-based simulated work-based learning (WBL) programs. The report cites how VE serves as a high-quality simulated WBL program and includes a site interview with Granville County Public Schools, which is currently one of 12 school districts in North Carolina implementing the VE program. A uniquely scalable approach for giving all students across America in-depth workplace and entrepreneurial experience during the school day, VE is implemented in hundreds of other districts around the country. The VE program currently serves 13,000 students a year across 500 middle and high schools throughout the U.S.

Why Granville County Public Schools Adopted VE

“Granville County began using VEI due to teachers’ and administrators’ dissatisfaction with traditional WBL, which they viewed as antiquated and inadequate to prepare students to enter the workforce. Due to the rural setting of Granville County, instructional programs that used simulation were considered advantageous to providing a worldwide connection for students who otherwise would be isolated. The administration in Granville County learned about VEI in 2008 and travelled to Tennessee to observe a VEI simulation in action, implementing VEI shortly thereafter, and the simulation is now fully implemented in all three high schools in the district. Following Granville County’s lead, 11 other school districts across North Carolina are now using VEI.”

(U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Simulated Work-Based Learning: Instructional Approaches and Promising Practices. Washington, D.C., 2017)

State CTE Director Support a Key in Program Adoption

“Granville County has received strong support from the state CTE director and the Department of Public Instruction throughout the research and implementation process. Administrators from Granville County credit their adoption of VEI to the support provided by the North Carolina State CTE director, who advocated on behalf of their programs at the state level, allowing them to implement the VEI program without excessive obstacles. Granville County has also received good publicity on a state and national level because of the director’s efforts to publicize its success.”

(U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Simulated Work-Based Learning: Instructional Approaches and Promising Practices. Washington, D.C., 2017)

How VE Connects Students with Local Communities

“The surrounding local communities are also taking on roles in helping VEI students gain real-world experiences. For example, one year a local municipality contacted Granville County with a request that VEI students help create a marketing plan for the town, which was to be presented to the board of commissioners. The students created graphics, slogans, and marketing materials that were ultimately accepted by the board to serve as the marketing plan for that town.”

(U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Simulated Work-Based Learning: Instructional Approaches and Promising Practices. Washington, D.C., 2017)

Catherine Imperatore provides a helpful summary of the report on ACTE’s CTE Policy Watch Blog, which details how WBL is integral to high-quality CTE, the models and benefits of simulated work-based learning, and keys to growing simulated WBL activities. The full “Simulated Work-Based Learning Instructional Approaches and Noteworthy Practices” report is available on the U.S. Department of Education’s website and on the National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education’s website.

Key Insights from 2016-17 Store Manager Data

VE’s Store Manager lets students and firms easily buy and sell products through e-commerce websites. This gives VE firms a chance to learn how to do business like a real-world business, which is what VE is all about.

After logging into the Portal, you’ll see the Store Manager on the top toolbar. This is where you go to add products, generate Buy Buttons, and track e-commerce sales data. The Store Manager offers a Documentation section to help get you started with these activities once your firm is ready.

We found eight key insights while analyzing hundreds of thousands of transaction data points, but before we share that, let’s make sure you know how to track your own firm’s transactions data. Analyzing your firm’s data and taking note of our key insights will help guide future sales and financial decisions.

How to Find Your Firm’s Store Manager Data

The first thing you see in the Store Manager is a dashboard. Based on the date parameters you set, you’ll see transaction data for that period of time. The left sidebar shows what you can do within the Store Manager and the “Download sales transactions” is found as a blue link right above the transactions dashboard.

To recap, you can find your firm’s Store Manager data by doing the following:

  1. Login to the Portal
  2. Click on the Store Manager
  3. Click on Download sales transaction list (Excel)

Note: Teachers must make the Store Manager visible for the students who need access to the Store Manager. See how to do this at Portal Support / [Teachers] Make the Store Manager Visible for Students

80% of VE Firms Generated Buy Buttons

Overall Store Manager Statistics from 2016-17

Number of sales transactions108,004
Number of unique items sold10,699
Number of items sold (by quantity)342,574
Total sold by dollar amount$54,189,189
Number of firms using Buy Buttons397
Average number of buttons created per firm35.5
Number of Buy Buttons generated (and number of products added in Store Manager)14,081
Number of promo codes generated564
Number of transactions redeeming promo codes2,746

 

New York was the Most Active State by Transactions

Top States (by number of transactions)

StateNumber of Transactions
New York29,020
California15,739
Tennessee15,469
Illinois14,049
Michigan13,045
New Jersey6,550
North Carolina5,597
Florida2,256
Pennsylvania1,581
Oregon1,022
Virginia855
Missouri792

 

Most Sales Transactions Didn’t Mean Most $

Top 25 Sellers (by transactions)

Firm NameNumber of TransactionsSchool NameCityState
Abstract Ice Cream3,637Wantagh HSWantaghNY
0n Demand Food Delivery2,888Brentwood HSBrentwoodTN
Adventure Outdoors Company2,407Academy Of The CanyonsSanta ClaritaCA
0h! Paws1,755Bartlett Yancey HSYanceyvilleNC
Knight & Day1,717Auburn HSRockfordIL
A.I. Energy1,578Northview AcademyKodakTN
1st Class Clothing1,560St. Charles NorthSt. CharlesIL
1 2 3 Pets1,519Harpeth HSKingston SpringsTN
Auggies1,427Cary-Grove HSCaryIL
AceIT1,377JF Webb HSOxfordNC
Alpha & Omega1,212Lawrence County HSLawrenceburgTN
The Animal Kingdom, Inc.1,203Loretto HSLorettoTN
0ne O.A.K Gameday Essentials1,086Brentwood HSBrentwoodTN
Golden Ram Enterprises, Inc.1,000Holt HSHoltMI
AmeriCo996Pittsford Mendon HSPittsfordNY
Area304992Geneva CUSD #304GenevaIL
Imagineers981Lapeer County Ed & Tech HSAtticaMI
Piece Of Cake977Ewing HSEwingNJ
0 Danger922Huntley HSHuntleyIL
Bake My Day Bakeries921Elmont HSElmontNY
02H914Long Beach HSLido BeachNY
Bucsmart905Belvidere HSBelvidereIL
Luxe888Waubonsie Valley HSAuroraIL
Advanced Performance Athletics884Southold HSSoutholdNY
0ntheGo Technology830Walt Whitman HSHuntington StationNY
Alternate Reality Entertainment830Syosset HSSyossetNY
2 Pure814Sachem East HSFarmingvilleNY
College Town Xperience782Pittsford SutherlandPittsfordNY

Top 25 Sellers (by dollar amount)

FirmTransaction AmountSchool NameCityState
Prime$1,499,999.60Maine East HSPark RidgeIL
Xtreme Comfort, Inc.$1,423,484.00St. Charles EastSt. CharlesIL
Area304$1,404,052.00Geneva CUSD #304GenevaIL
Lucid Investment Financial Enterprise$1,375,652.05HS Of Economics And FinanceNew YorkNY
Clever Contraptions$1,247,058.24St. Charles EastSt. CharlesIL
0h! Paws$973,095.90Bartlett Yancey HSYanceyvilleNC
Nuapps$870,895.00Francis Lewis HSFresh MeadowsNY
MatchWear$777,980.03Francis Lewis HSFresh MeadowsNY
ReImagin3D$752,269.33Francis Lewis HSFresh MeadowsNY
eXtra$747,379.82Northwood HSPittsboroNC
Luxe$724,615.25Waubonsie Valley HSAuroraIL
99 @dventures$705,374.45Berks Career And TechnologyLeesportPA
Golden Ram Enterprises, Inc.$677,911.00Holt HSHoltMI
1 2 3 Pets$619,448.06Harpeth HSKingston SpringsTN
Above n' below$597,884.69Sayville HSWest SayvilleNY
0 Danger$548,571.16Huntley HSHuntleyIL
Auggies$545,663.51Cary-Grove HSCaryIL
1nfinity, Inc.$533,400.00Grand Blanc HSGrand BlancMI
NYCVE Athletics DBA Inspire Athletics$533,241.99Abraham Lincoln HSBrooklynNY
The Animal Kingdom, Inc.$491,754.45Loretto HSLorettoTN
Gotham Enterprises$490,149.03ZZZ NYC Central OfficeNew YorkNY
Adventure Outdoors Company$471,978.28Academy Of The CanyonsSanta ClaritaCA
Imagineers$463,614.50Lapeer County Ed & Tech HSAtticaMI
0ptimize$460,243.95Batavia HSBataviaIL
Catalyst$442,413.66Neuqua Valley HSNapervilleIL
DISCOVR$433,604.84Herricks HSNew Hyde ParkNY
NicePops$431,264.00Syosset HSSyossetNY
EVO Tech$423,698.45Patchogue-Medford HSMedfordNY
Castora$422,738.23Edward R. Murrow HSBrooklynNY
Ohana Surfboard Company$415,865.83Sayville HSWest SayvilleNY
Forza Auto Sales$410,464.58Susan E Wagner HSStaten IslandNY
A Helping Hand$407,579.90West Hempstead HSWest HempsteadNY
Flip-Chip$398,971.62Syosset HSSyossetNY

 

Wednesday Was the Most Valuable Day for Sales

Sales Totals by Day

Day of the WeekNumber of TransactionsTransaction Amount
Sunday895$682,482.02
Monday21,317$9,047,413.37
Tuesday20,412$11,439,780.95
Wednesday22,158$12,237,124.56
Thursday22,532$10,819,261.54
Friday20,221$9,387,934.99
Saturday469$575,191.69

 

December to April Were the Hottest Months for Sales

Sales Totals Month-by-Month

MonthNumber of TransactionsTransaction Amount
January 201715,502$4,663,724.56
February 201718,180$5,902,663.53
March 201719,355$6,575,265.29
April 201718,235$20,100,930.63
May 20179,794$9,016,152.62
June 20171,136$1,291,483.21
July 201700
August 20167$13,880.01
September 201667$43,114.14
October 20162,328$546,780.86
November 20168,684$2,212,688.60
December 201614,716$3,822,505.67

 

Most Transactions Made in One Day Happened on a Friday

VE firms don’t seem to believe in “casual Fridays” with that level of sales activity.

Top Dates for Sales (by transactions)

DateNumber of Transactions
Friday, February 3, 20171,912
Monday, February 27, 20171,617
Wednesday, April 12, 20171,561
Thursday, March 2, 20171,457
Monday, February 6, 20171,425
Friday, March 3, 20171,402
Wednesday, March 1, 20171,388
Thursday, December 15, 20161,361
Friday, April 28, 20171,236
Tuesday, February 28, 20171,197
Monday, March 6, 20171,170
Wednesday, April 5, 20171,168
Tuesday, December 6, 20161,118
Wednesday, April 26, 20171,113
Thursday, May 4, 20171,096
Monday, December 5, 20161,086
Thursday, April 13, 20171,082
Tuesday, February 7, 20171,058
Monday, January 30, 20171,057
Monday, April 10, 20171,050
Tuesday, December 20, 20161,044
Tuesday, April 25, 20171,042
Thursday, February 2, 20171,028
Thursday, February 16, 20171,025
Thursday, April 27, 2017988

Top Dates for Sales (by dollar amount)

DateTransaction Amount
Tuesday, April 25, 2017$2,575,145.99
Wednesday, April 12, 2017$1,928,711.92
Friday, April 28, 2017$1,811,543.78
Wednesday, April 26, 2017$1,504,014.26
Monday, April 24, 2017$1,355,043.37
Monday, May 1, 2017$1,352,040.41
Thursday, April 27, 2017$1,310,539.31
Tuesday, May 2, 2017$1,201,384.91
Wednesday, March 22, 2017$1,153,474.60
Wednesday, April 5, 2017$1,093,465.29
Thursday, April 6, 2017$1,088,082.08
Friday, February 3, 2017$942,992.51
Tuesday, April 4, 2017$830,207.90
Friday, April 21, 2017$824,007.37
Thursday, April 20, 2017$738,246.40
Friday, April 7, 2017$727,403.87
Thursday, May 4, 2017$707,213.70
Wednesday, May 3, 2017$673,744.56
Thursday, April 13, 2017$664,047.04
Monday, April 10, 2017$661,731.59
Wednesday, May 17, 2017$594,017.49
Tuesday, April 18, 2017$575,836.59
Thursday, May 11, 2017$570,800.20
Thursday, January 19, 2017$567,741.24
Friday, May 5, 2017$517,564.50

 

Bundles & Packages Were Very Valuable

15 of the Top 25 items by dollar amount were bundles/packages.

Top 25 Items (by dollar amount)

ItemTransaction Amount
Global$1,363,636.00
Awesome Package$1,274,388.00
$5000 Bundleeeeeee$704,329.80
Trade Show Package$681,109.50
Two to Tango$624,895.00
Tradeshow Bundle$443,840.00
Trade Show Special$352,785.50
North Package$321,738.72
LIFE Package$304,010.96
Rainforest Package$289,719.78
Self Promotion Package$282,000.00
1 year Monthly Subscription$249,990.80
1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom$233,700.00
$5,000 Gold Package$233,644.50
Trade Show Special 5000$219,999.56
Bora Bora$195,794.00
Siberian Husky$182,210.00
12-Month Plan (Individual)$179,088.00
Corporate Summer Package$176,907.90
Custom Case Bundle$172,860.30
Diamond Package$162,776.90
“Tropic Thunder” Package$162,000.00
Gold Package$160,657.53
Miniature Australian Shepherd$156,940.00
Basic Bundle$140,520.00

Top 25 Items (by transactions)

ItemNumber of Transactions
Basic Bundle1,451
Healthy Bundle746
“Tropic Thunder” Package647
Custom Infusion539
Renters Insurance493
Renter's Insurance467
Auto Insurance454
Solar Portable Charger454
Personal Care432
1-Week Plan (Individual)430
100. Gas Card419
Gingerbread IC382
Water Bottles353
Southern Bundle318
Trendy Bundle315
1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom311
ARE Genesis306
Warm Winter Shawl306
Burger IC305
Entertainment Bundle297
Cones (Pack of 6)292
The Alpha Pack292
Car Insurance269
Case of Custom Infusions265
Peppermint IC265

 

Stand-Out Promo Codes

APRILSHOWERS
BLACKFRIDAY
CYBERMONDAY
ENDOFYEAR
FEEDBACK
FIRSTMEAL
FUELTHEPEOPLE
GRANDOPENING
HALLOWEEN
HEALTH
MARCHMADNESS
NEWYEAR
RELAX
SENIOR
SPRINGBREAK
SPRINGFEVER
SUPERBOWL51
TECHTUESDAY
THANKSGIVING
THANKYOU
TRADESHOW
VACATION
VALENTINESDAY
WINTERWEDNESDAY
WINTERWONDERLAND
YBS
YEAR-END

Reserve Your Seat for the Ultimate Webinar on Business Writing Skills

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
10 AM EST/7 AM PST

VEI is excited to announce a free webinar in partnership with award-winning author and speaker Danny Rubin. Danny is an award-winning author on business communication skills and will show us simple yet powerful ways to help your business stand out in the competitive marketplace. Danny has helped young professionals at top companies like General Motors, Converse, the Chicago Cubs, Experian and Pandora Radio.

In the webinar, Danny will cover:

  • Simple ways to improve how students write their business plans
  • Smarter approaches to business outreach emails
  • Important writing skills to improve college admissions essays

FYI…these are lifetime skills that will make you a better communicator today and years down the road.

Register Now and Claim Your Webinar Spot

Space is limited – reserve your spot!

Apply Now for the 2018 VE Venture Challenge

From Simulation to Startup

The purpose of the VE Venture Challenge is to allow VE students to pitch their unique real business concept to a panel of leading entrepreneurs — who are titans in their industry — at VEI’s annual Gala on April 18, 2018 in New York City. Budding entrepreneurs will be able to transform their concepts into viable businesses through mentorship, education, financial support, and real-world business opportunities.

2017 VE Venture Challenge Winner

Miguel McKelvey, Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer, WeWork, presenting check to Liza T.

TredBed
Presenter: Liza Tarakanova
Parkway West HS, Ballwin, MO

Liza T. from Parkway West High School in Missouri won the inaugural VE Venture Challenge, securing $10,000 in seed funding as well as a 1-year membership at WeWork Labs as she works to launch TredBed, a business venture that will help revolutionize the medical industry.

Titan Entrepreneurs of the 2017 VE Venture Panel

Gregg FisherFounder & Head of Quantitative Research & Portfolio Strategy, Gerstein Fisher
Miguel McKelveyCo-Founder, Chief Creative Officer, WeWork
Jeffrey TaylorCo-Founder & Managing Partner, Digital Risk
Alexandra Wilkis WilsonCo-Founder, Fitz, Glamsquad, & Gilt

View the VE Venture Challenge Presentations at the 2017 Gala

Application Process

Round 1: Preliminary Round

Teams of 1-3 students may apply to enter the Challenge. The designated team leader must complete the online application found below. The application consists of relevant business questions and a one-minute Video Pitch, which must be submitted by 5:00 PM, Friday, December 22, 2017.

Round 1 entries will be evaluated by VEI staff, who will provide feedback and might ask for clarifying questions. All entries will be kept confidential. After VEI staff reviews Round 1 submissions, ten (10) semi-finalist teams will be selected to advance to Round 2 and will be notified by January 19, 2018.

Round 1 Video Pitch Guidelines: 

The 60-second video pitch should include the following information.

  • An engaging introduction.
  • The problem that the product/service is trying to solve.
  • How the product/service is going to solve the problem.
  • A description of the potential customers.
  • Why the product/service is better than those of the competition.
  • Why their team is the best to lead the company to success.

Sample Video Pitches:

Apply Now for VE Venture Challenge

Round 2: Semi-Final Round

The nine (9) semi-finalist teams will be asked to provide more detail about their business idea by February 8, 2018. Three (3) finalist teams will be selected to advance to the Final Round and will be notified by February 15, 2018.

Final Round: 2018 Gala Presentations

The three (3) finalist teams will be invited to give their pitch presentations at the Gala on April 18, 2018 in New York City. Finalist teams must commit to work with mentors (through Skype) to refine their presentation leading up to the Challenge.

Final Round Pitch Presentation Guidelines:

  • Distributing material, samples and/or prototypes is permitted and encouraged.
  • PowerPoint slides (up to 4 slides) or audio/ video assistance is allowed.
  • Each presenter will be given a few minutes to answer questions from the judges.
  • The presentation pitch may not exceed 3 minutes.

The VE Venture Challenge will enable you to turn your real business idea into reality!

Venture Challenge Timeline

  • December 22, 2017: Submit Round 1 application by 5:00 PM.
  • January 19, 2018: Ten (10) semi-finalist teams will be selected to advance to Round 2.
  • February 8, 2018: Semi-finalists submit Round 2 application by 5:00 PM.
  • February 15, 2018: Three (3) finalist teams will be selected to advance to the Final Round.
  • February – April 2018: Teams will practice their pitch presentations with VEI staff and industry professionals.
  • April 18, 2018: Three (3) finalist teams will give their pitch presentations at the Gala.

Awards & Prizes

Finalist teams will be eligible to win prize money (to advance their concept), scholarships, and a one-year membership in a co-working and/or incubator space. Transportation and lodging costs to New York City will be provided to finalist teams not taking part in the YBS.

Judging Criteria

Judges for each round will evaluate the teams as real-world entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from investors. The businesses will be judged on the following criteria: viability, scalability (growth potential), team, innovation, and pitching skills. Businesses will be ranked based on which company the judges would most likely invest in.

Before submitting an idea, be sure to research whether or not your product and/or service already exists. However, you may submit an idea that improves upon an existing product and/or service.

Research Tips:

  1. Conduct a Google search to see if your idea exists.
  2. Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database to see if your product idea has been submitted for a patent.

Partnership Case Study: VE California and Doing What Matters

2017 Los Angeles Trade Show

Doing What Matters is program of California Community Colleges that aims to turn community colleges into essential catalysts for California’s economic recovery and job creation at the local, regional, and state levels. The program focuses on ten priority sectors, including Global Trade & Logistics, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)/Digital Media, and Small Business.

2017 Los Angeles Trade Show

2017 Los Angeles Trade Show

The mission of the Small Business Sector is to work with industry and education to improve and expand California’s business and entrepreneurial curriculum, delivering a job-ready workforce and entrepreneurial leaders to ensure California’s economic growth and global competitiveness.​ Doing What Matters uses Deputy Sector Navigators (DSNs) as in-region contacts for an industry ​sector, working with the region’s colleges and employers to create alignment around and deliver on workforce training and career pathways.

​Several regional DSNs have understood the power of VE in their regions to elevate student achievement, general problem-solving ability, and inspire them to succeed in their colleges and careers. Doing What Matters has sponsored a portion of VE regional and state competitions, student leadership days, and worked to enhance these events through acquisition of high-level judges and business mentors. They have also physically worked alongside VE staff on the production of these events.

2017 Los Angeles Trade Show

“Charles Eason, Small Business Sector Navigator, and his team have been instrumental to VEs across the state. We are truly grateful for the students’ increased achievement and inspiration to succeed attributed to the enhanced experience Doing What Matters for Small Business has created.”

Teri Jones, Southern California Regional Director, VEI

Lisa Kiplinger-Kennedy, Small Business Deputy Sector Navigator for the California Community Colleges’ Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy division, has been one of the largest supporters of VE in California. Lisa has sponsored several events and her financial support has allowed VE to seek out inspirational speakers and authors, and ensured that top VE firms from Inland Empire schools can afford to attend state competitions. The support from Inland Empire and Orange County has shown great results, with three of the top six VE business plan teams in the California coming from these two regions (ManGo Kinetics and Pinya Linya, Murrieta Valley High School, Murrieta and Off The Grid, Fountain Valley High School, Fountain Valley, CA).

Further Reading – California Economic Summit: “Entrepreneurial high schoolers give their best business pitch in competition

Berkeley students discover world of business | The Royal Gazette : Bermuda Education

Left to right: Tyrese Coakley, Lauren Genevieve, Yasser Baia and Tyler Trott from the Virtual Enterprises International programme (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda’s Virtual Enterprises International programme has been taking Berkeley Institute students out of the classroom and into the world of business.

And their efforts have led to scholarships overseas worth thousands of dollars.

Source: Berkeley students discover world of business | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda Education