Young Americans Blog

Pitches for HOPE

By: Maura McInerney Published: December 26th, 2013
The students who won the pitching contest.

The students who won the pitching contest.

On November 20th at Montbello High School I was very fortunate to be invited to judge the HOPE Business in a Box pitch Competition.  Ms. Rhonda Albers’ Introduction to Business class had been learning about financial education and entrepreneurship for the past couple of months and the students were prepared to pitch their business idea.  The competitors had two minutes to give their “elevator speech” and then the judges had two minutes to ask questions.

I judged several young aspiring entrepreneurs on their business ideas based on the following criteria:

  • Business Idea Viability
  • Business Market Understanding
  • Business Knowledge and Professionalism

The winners of the cash prize of $400 and the chance to work individually with a local business owner were all 12th graders:

  • Froylan Perez of Froy’s P.C.’s: Repairs computers software and hardware and builds personalized computers.  Froylan identified his customer as low income families who cannot spend lots of money on computers but still need to use them and also offers anti-virus protection.
  • Jayme Garrett of Ayme’s Mix: Handmade perfumes and lotions.  She will use the seed money to build her business by purchasing materials for production and for marketing.
  • Vanessa and Jessica of Fash Rehash: Online clothing store of used and restored fashions for teens. They presented wearing one of their own products. A scarf they made out of a pair of Hello Kitty pajama pants bought at a thrift store.
  • Cleto Ortega of Shield Roofing: Roof repair. Credits his father who is a contractor as his inspiration for starting his own business.

It was an amazing experience, and I look forward to participating again next year!

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