2017 Venture Challenge Semi-Finalists

The following nine teams have moved on to Round II of the 2017 VE Venture Challenge.

Each team was evaluated as real-world entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from investors. These businesses excelled in the following criteria: viability, scalability (growth potential), team, innovation, and pitching skills. The semi-finalist teams will be asked to provide more detail about their business idea by February 21, 2017 and three (3) finalist teams will be selected to advance to the Final Round and will be notified by February 24, 2017.

2017 Semi-Finalists

Ethnic EmpowermentFrancis Lewis High SchoolFresh Meadows, NY
HEELmatesCary-Grove High SchoolCary, IL
NeuVenJefferson High SchoolTampa, FL
PrizmWesthampton Beach High SchoolWesthampton Beach, NY
Solely RubberJP Taravella High SchoolCoral Springs, FL
The Safe HousePortland High SchoolPortland, TN
TredBedParkway West High SchoolChesterfield, MO
Trinity GamesFrancis Lewis High SchoolFresh Meadows, NY
VICTORIESEagle Academy for Young Men of HarlemNew York, NY

Go to VE Venture Challenge page

Go to 2017 Gala page

2016 National Business Plan Competition Finalists


The following 28 teams have qualified for the 2016 National Business Plan Competition, taking place on April 17 at LIU Brooklyn. This event is the most prestigious and rigorous annual business plan competition for public high school students. It challenges VEI students from across the country to demonstrate their global business expertise through written business plans and oral presentations. In order to qualify for this event, these teams have demonstrated the best written plans and oral presentations at their respective local, state, and regional competitions.

2016 Finalists

A+ OpportunityCareerline Technical CenterHolland, MI
Adventure TimePinckney Community HSPinckney, MI
AquaTerraWesthampton Beach HSWesthampton Beach, NY
Avant-garde Furnishings, Inc.Fort HamiltonBrooklyn, NY
Brooklyn's Sweet N Savory CateringFort HamiltonBrooklyn, NY
ConciergeNew DorpStaten Island, NY
Culturally Creative Cupcakes, Inc.International Prep HSBuffalo, NY
ElysiumBearden HSKnoxville, TN
EnviroscentalsMount St. MaryKenmore, NY
Envision NorthBelvidere North HSBelvidere, IL
EvoTechPatchogue Medford HSMedford, NY
FitspirationRobbinsville HSRobbinsville, NJ
Focal Point IncJP Taravella HSCoral Springs, FL
HeliosWesthampton Beach HSWesthampton Beach, NY
INKSouth Pasadena HSSouth Pasadena, CA
KarunaBakersfield HSBakersfield, CA
N.E.R.D.S. TechnologyArvin HSArvin, CA
NocogoMurrieta Valley HSMurrieta Valley, CA
ROC SecurityHewlett HSHewlett, NY
Rock SolidPerson HSRoxboro, NC
SalubreByron Nelson HSTrophy Club, TX
ScholarMEHerndon High SchoolHerndon, VA
SockscribeCentennial HSBakersfield, CA
The EdgeGranville Central HSStem, NC
The Golden SpoonGreer HSGreer, SC
TrifectaMurrieta Valley HSMurrieta Valley, CA
UnderWrapzCrystal Lake South HSCrystal Lake, IL
Vitality Inc.Bearden HSKnoxville, TN


Go to Youth Business Summit page

Go to 2016 National Business Plan Competition page

Register Now for National Video Commercial and HR Competitions!


The 2016 National Video Commercial Competition, the year’s third National Online Competition, is taking place during March.

For this competition, students will produce a 30 to 60 second video commercial that effectively promotes their VEI business, product(s), and/or service(s). Videos will be judged based on content, how compelling the commercial is, and production quality. Submissions must be appropriate for a school-related event, must be original student work, and must not violate copyright laws or plagiarize existing work.

View the 2016 National Video Commercial Competition submission guidelines and scoring criteria.

Go to competitions.veinternational.org to register and submit your firm’s commercial.


For the first time ever during the Youth Business Summit, VEI is holding a National Human Resources Competition.

Teams of 1-2 employees from the company’s HR department will deliver oral presentations addressing the HR operations of their respective companies. Students are responsible for informing judges of their policies and practices as they relate to the employee handbook, company communications, employee evaluations, and employee recognition.

Go to the 2016 National Human Resources Competition page for more details and to register.

Contact Tyler Fugazzie, Marketing and Communications Manager, at tyler@veinternational.org with any questions. 

Featured Alumni: Robert Lenahan


Robert Lenahan
Founder of Hospital Heroes, LLC.
Class of 2013
William Floyd High School
Queens Village, New York

What do you currently do?
I’m currently a junior at Molloy College, pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a minor in New Media. In my time at Molloy, I co-founded the Entrepreneurship Club after discovering my passion for inventing things and building businesses. Since then, I have been developing one idea after another until my latest invention, IV Hero, a sleeve that covers an intravenous bag during treatments and is designed to make hospitals a less scary place for kids. Each sleeve is decorated with superheroes, transforming what was once an intimidating medical procedure into a creative opportunity to gain superpowers.

How did you get the inspiration for IV Hero?
I was reading an article about pediatric patients, and how they were so terrified of CAT scans and MRI machines that they actually needed to be fully sedated just to go for a scan. This was causing a number of issues, not to mention a huge deal of stress on the patients and their families. Rather than re-engineer these machines, a few folks from GE put big stickers up on the machines that made them look like submarines and pirate ships. What was once making kids cry, was now making them want to come back; they thought it was a ride at an amusement park. I thought this idea of transforming a scary experience for kids into a fun and exciting one was such an amazing way to reimagine the hospital experience, and I really wanted to focus on transforming everyday procedures that kids are put through. IV bags are a staple of the hospital room, and thus, IV Hero was born.

What first comes to mind when you think back to your VE experience?
My first thought of VE is how big of an eye-opener it was for me at such a young age. So many high schoolers just go through the motions in high school with their goals set to the future that they don’t fully utilize some of the programs at their disposal – I know because I was like that. When I began VE, it really broadened my horizons on how the business world works and I was offered the opportunity to begin building my professional persona, which gave me a huge advantage when I got to college.

What was your favorite part of VE?
By far, my favorite part of VE was being a part of the presentation team for my business. We were awarded 3rd for the region, and it felt so satisfying to put so much effort into our presentation and really have those efforts be recognized.

How does your VE experience relate to your current role? How does it relate to what you ultimately want to do in your professional life?
When I was in VE, I was the Vice President of Accounting, which ultimately helped me to form my decision on majoring in accounting. In addition, being a part of the presentation team really helped me to become a better public speaker which comprises so much of what I do today. Whether I’m speaking in front of an audience, to investors, at business competitions; being able to speak concisely and professionally is something that I have to do every day, and I can attribute that to my experience in VE.

Do you believe that your VE experience was a differentiator in helping you start with IV Hero?
VE helped me to think differently. The environment really allowed me to explore my creativity within my VE firm, and that stuck with me as I entered college and began to meet like-minded people who enjoy inventing things and building businesses. With my creativity and my background in public speaking, I began entering and winning business plan competitions which set me on this path of becoming an entrepreneur.

What advice do you have for current VE students?
Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something, or that your ideas will never work. If you’re passionate about something – do it. You never know where that idea will take you or how it will help you grow.

Find IV Hero online:

Website: http://www.ivhero.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HospHero
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hospitalheroes/

If you are a VE alumni with a story to share and would like to reconnect with VE, please contact Tyler Fugazzie, Marketing and Communications Manager, at tyler@veinternational.org or visit our Alumni page.

15th Annual CA International Trade Show

On Dec. 3-4, Virtual Enterprise firms from California and across the country showcased their virtual products and services at the Rabobank Convention Center in Bakersfield, California. This event is the largest in California & the Western Region attracted 100 firms. Students in these enterprises demonstrated their competencies in a wide range of areas: business planning, marketing, selling, self-management, financial planning, public relations, interviewing, e-commerce and communications. This event provided an opportunity for healthy competition, self-assessment and benchmarking!

The opportunity to participate in the California Trade Show events provides a unique advantage to see Virtual Enterprise entrepreneurial skills development.