STAMFORD, Conn. -- Westhill High School juniors Rhett Hochkinson and Jarrod Trief took first place in the recent Fairfield County Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, hosted by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and sponsored by MasterCard.
Their proposed winning business plan for Memory Note, a company that provides music therapy for the elderly, has advanced them to the national competition, which will be held in New York City in October.
The team, students of WHS teacher Stephen Temelini, competed against 20 teams from high schools in Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport. Each team had eight minutes to present its business plan. They were required to demonstrate their command of entrepreneurship principles by presenting and defending their plans before a panel of judges and an audience of business leaders and community members.
"Entrepreneurship education teaches young people so many of the characteristics that lead to future success,” said Diane Rosenthal, NFTE executive director. “The students and teachers at Westhill are to be congratulated on their amazing accomplishments."
Competition judges included Sheryl Battles, vice president, corporate communications, Pitney Bowes; Jeffrey Tengel, senior vice president, People’s United Bank; and Susan Warner, vice president, worldwide communications, MasterCard.
Students’ business plans were judged on opportunity recognition, market research, financials and operations, marketing and sales, and presentation.
Taking second place was WHS freshman Meghan Prabhu, a student of WHS teacher Tanesha Poyser. Prabhu’s business is MagicKey, a music application that detects errors while playing the piano and makes suggestions for improvement.
Juniors Alley Cali and Rafael Soliven, also students of Temelini, took third place with their business plan for Sweet Freedom Bakery, a gluten-free bakery.
All teams that competed in the Fairfield Country competition had to first qualify at a school-level competition held earlier in the year.
Additional qualifying competitors from WHS were Tyler Lasicki, Justin Chase, Katie Cotton and Mary Troy.
Stamford High School’s qualifying competitors were John Kenneth, Brayan Carreras, Rachel Steinmetz and Diego Quijano.
The qualifiers from the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering were Liat Feller, Grant Gelles and Stephanie Hausman.
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