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.

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

2016 New York Citywide Business Plan Competition Recap

2016 New York Citywide Competition

On January 14th, 2016, 24 Virtual Enterprise firms, representing each of the five boroughs, braced the early morning cold fronts to attend the New York Citywide Business Plan Competition, hosted at the United Federation of Teachers. Each firm had 10 minutes to pitch their company to a panel of diverse judges for a chance to make it to the National Business Plan Competition.

The morning session of the competition was divided into two rounds, which included 10 minute presentations and the Q&A session. Each of the 24 firms presented to a panel of 6 industry professionals, alumni, and VE advisory board members, leading to eight finalist firms for the afternoon round. After an intense round of strong presentations, the top teams of the day were Brooklyn’s Sweet & Savory in first, Avant-garde Furnishings in second, and Concierge Ticket Brokers in third.

Top 3 Teams

VEI FirmHigh School
Brooklyn's Sweet & SavoryFort Hamilton High School
Avant-garde FurnishingsFort Hamilton High School
Concierge Ticket BrokerageNew Dorp High School

Participating Teams

Firm NameSchool
Inspire AthleticsAbraham Lincoln HS
Infinite Investment SolutionsAcademy of Finance & Enterprise
ASAPAcademy of Finance & Enterprise
Sac-A-DosBronx HS of Business @Taft
Brandmark AdvertisingEdward R. Murrow HS
Velocity InternationalForest Hills HS
Brooklyn's Sweet 'N Savory CateringFort Hamilton HS
Avant-garde FurnishingsFort Hamilton HS
MatchWearFrancis Lewis HS
ReImagin3D NuAppsFrancis Lewis HS
ImagiNation Inc.HS of Arts, Imagination, & Inquiry
Lucid Invenstment Financial Enterprise (LIFE)HS of Econ & Finance
FLYHS of Fashion Industries
Novus Solaris ImperiumIn-Tech Academy
Nyidea T-SquaredJaqueline Kennedy Onassis HS
SNAPManhattan Business Academy
Concierge Ticket BrokerageNew Dorp HS
PolyGlot TranslationsNew Dorp HS
PR CateringPort Richmond HS
NYCyclesQueens Vocational HS
MajestiqueWilliam Cullen Bryant HS

Thank You to Our Judges!

VEI would like to thank all the judges who contributed their time, talents, and effort to supporting our local VE student professionals.

Abby Bilanin, Geller & Company

Andrea Pfeil, Goeth-Institute NY

Angelo Scialfa III, Fox Run Group

Annie Herman, Journal-Dow Jones

Arpit Akruwala, VE Alumnus

Beth Grossmen, ACORD

Bonnie Manter, BBM Technologies

Bonnie Messing, Geller & Company

Charlotte Beyer, Principle Quest Foundation

Cindy VandenBosch, Turnstile Tours

Doug Young, Council for Economic Education

Eileen Monreale, American Institute of Marine Underwriters

Frank Chiarello, The Tower Group Companies

Gina Pol, VE Alumna

Jeff Rubin, Hub International

Joann Halpern, Goeth-Institute NY

Joshua Siegel, Georgetown Angels

Junior Manon, NYCDOE

Michael Mahoney, Mahoney Associates

Nan Donelon, Women in Hedge Funds

Norman Chester, Institute of Monagement Accountants

Renee Black, PricewaterhouseCooper

Richard Johnson, Halstead

Roberta Mittman, Center for Well Being

Scott Mitchell, Euro-Pen International

Sean James, former NFL Player, now Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Educator

Susan Hirshmann, Morgan Stanley

Susan Miller, JSM Strategy Advisors



The Ultimate #2014YouthBusinessSummit Guide

If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, chances are you’ve seen those #clickable #words #everywhere. These short links are known as hashtags, and they allow groups of people to publicly share and communicate information regarding a topic, event, or interest in a quick, real-time manner. See below for a full explanation so you can start using #2014YouthBusinessSummit to its fullest potential.

What is #2014YouthBusinessSummit?

The Youth Business Summit is VEI’s signature event, bringing together VEI students from around the world for a series of opportunities to showcase the wide variety of skills they’ve learned throughout the school year. The event includes three major activities, the Global Business Challenge, National Business Plan Competition, and the International Trade Show.

If you’re unfamiliar with the events, visit the Youth Business Summit page to find out details and then return to this article.

To capture and share this excitement in real-time, we’ve chosen #2014YouthBusinessSummit as the hashtag for this extraordinary three-day event. Since it takes up a large number of precious characters, you can also use #2014YBS, #VEI, #VEInternational, or tag our Twitter name @VEInternational, but the preferred tag is #2014YouthBusinessSummit.

We’ve even set-up a webpage that highlights tweets with this tag so you can follow along with what’s happening if you can’t make it to New York City.


Why use #2014YouthBusinessSummit?

  • Share your experiences of the different events with the world
  • Provide insight to a three-day event that people may not be aware of
  • Interact with others at the event
  • Find out any special deals and promotions during the International Trade Show
  • Keep up with the who makes the final rounds of the Global Business Challenge and National Business Plan Competition


Who can use #2014YouthBusinessSummit?

Anyone on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook. This includes:

  • VEI firms looking to market and promote their business
  • VEI students having a great experience at the events
  • VEI coordinators, school administrators, and parents who are proud and impressed with the professionalism of their students
  • Guests who are attending for the first time and want to share their discovery with colleagues and friends
  • All attendees who want to bring attention to the Youth Business Summit


When can I use #2014YouthBusinessSummit?

  • From now until April 1, you can use the tag to share your excitement and anticipation for the event.
  • Between April 1 and 3, you can use the tag during the Global Business Challenge, during VEI’s Gala Dinner, during the National Business Plan Competition, and during the International Trade Show.
  • After April 3, you can use the tag when sharing the results of the competitions, photos and videos, and any other reactions you have while in the Summit’s aftermath.


See below for the event invitation, brief descriptions of the events, and links to additional Youth Business Summit resources.


Global Business Challenge

In the Global Business Challenge, which is sponsored by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. and the New York Life Foundation, students are assigned to a multinational team, and are given several hours to solve a global business problem. Each team will analyze company data, identify relevant information for the assigned task, and prepare a business strategy to be presented to a distinguished panel of judges. The Global Business Challenge will be held on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

Registration is closed. Those who already registered should be on the lookout for an upcoming confirmation email.


An Evening to Benefit VEI

On Tuesday April 1, 2014, we encourage you to attend a dinner gala to benefit Virtual Enterprises International. Click here for ticket and sponsorship information.


National Business Plan Competition

In the National Business Plan Competition, finalists from statewide business plan competitions will compete in a championship round for prizes to be awarded to team members and their programs. The National Business Plan Competition will be taking place Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The top three national teams will be announced on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at the opening ceremony of the trade show.

Qualifying teams will be sending necessary business plan materials to their respective Regional Directors. Once the Regional Directors receive and approve these materials, teams can register.

Registration for visitors and observers will be coming soon.


International Trade Show

The International Trade Show is the signature activity of the Virtual Enterprises International practice firm program. It provides students with the opportunity to showcase and market the products and services of their virtual businesses as they engage in commerce with their local, national and international peers in a simulated global marketplace. Students will be able to compete in various competitions related to the event: Best Booth, Best Sales Pitch, Best Web Page and Best Catalog. The International Trade Show will be taking place Thursday, April 3, 2014 at the 69th Regiment Armory.