By: Sharon Aron Baron
Students from JP Taravella travelled to New York to participate in a three-day event event which allowed them to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and diverse talents in entrepreneurship, communications, computer technology, and global business management.
They were all part of JP Taravella’s Virtual Enterprise firm, Focal Point Inc. who attended the national VEI Global Youth Summit. Included in the event was the National Business Plan Competition, Global Business Challenge, and International Trade Show. In addition, Focal Point was one of four featured student-run firms at VEI’s 20th annual Gala benefiting Virtual Enterprises International.
The seven-student team, all seniors, presented the business plan they wrote that won first place in Florida back in January. Teams representing 28 VE companies from around the country had their written business plans and oral presentations judged by industry professionals and educators. While the
Taravella team didn’t place in this competition, it was a tremendous learning opportunity for the students and their teacher, Laurie Acosta, since this was the first year any Broward school took part in this challenging program.
Senior Michael Hazan was a member of the team that won third place in the Global Business Challenge, another activity that was part of the Global Youth Summit. Students were given a Harvard Business School case study to review before arriving in New York. Then they were put into teams with 9 other students from around the US and from countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, Romania and Germany, none of whom had ever met. Teams were given two hours to collaborate on a solution to the business case, create a presentation, and deliver it to the panel of judges. 32 teams of 10 participated in this activity and the top three received prizes and recognition.
The Focal Point team also created a trade show booth for their company, and participated in an actual trade show with more than 120 other student firms. They sold their products, bought products from other firms, and learned what it takes to effectively sell in this fast-paced, chaotic business environment.