McCluer High School students dominated their competition in the 2015 Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge by winning the top three spots in the challenge.
Destiny Davis was the overall winner, Jacob Tiemann took second place and Daija Jackson placed third. As the top finishers, Davis and Tiemann will travel to New York in October to compete at the national level.
The entrepreneurship challenge is coordinated by NFTE, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. The event was sponsored by MasterCard and hosted by Ameren in mid-May. McCluer students have participated in NFTE for the past couple of years.
“NFTE does a great job supporting me in teaching entrepreneurship to our students,” said Timothy Lakey, McCluer High School marketing instructor.
“Our students are exposed to mentors from the St. Louis business community who provide one-on-one time to discuss the students’ business plans. NFTE also coordinates field trips to companies such as MasterCard so that students can receive insight on how companies that are run very well are organized.”
For several months, NFTE students write and prepare business plans for companies/products they would like to develop. A competition was held at McCluer to determine who would represent the school at the regional level, and five students were selected.
During the regional competition, McCluer students were assigned to four breakout rooms where they competed against students from other schools, presenting their ideas before a prestigious panel of judges. The top student in each room – all of whom were McCluer students – faced each other in the final competition. In addition to Davis, Tiemann and Jackson, Destiny Speech was also a breakout room winner.
Each student received $100 towards the start-up of his or her business. As the overall winner, Davis received an additional $1000 for her T-shirt business plan. Tiemann received an additional $750 for his plan to develop an app that sneaker heads can use to sell shoes to each other, and Jackson received an additional $500 for her plan to develop a key that you can dip into a drink that would detect if any drugs, such as date rape drugs, had been put into the drink.
“Destiny and Jacob will be working to finalize their business plans in preparation for the national competition this fall,” said Lakey. “They will be competing against students from around the country. I believe they have what it takes to make a strong showing in New York, and a chance to take the top prize.”
The winner of the national competition will receive $25,000 to help fund their business.
For information on the challenge, visit http://www.nfte.com/st-louis-regional-youth-entrepreneurship-challenge.