The E CITY ‘Classroom Competitions’ are heating up and students, vying for the top spot, are pitching their business plan and fine-tuning their product. This year, dozens of students are competing for the chance to present their entrepreneurial enterprise to a panel of judges at the E CITY Young Entrepreneur of the Year Competition at Ernst & Young on May 18th.
“I’m excited more than anything. I feel like I’m prepared, I’m ready to hopefully get first place and move on to the next level,” says Pablo Arredondo, Thomas Harvey High School sophomore and E CITY Classroom Competition presenter. “I feel like I’m a little ahead. I have a good shot at winning the classroom competition. Not only am I a good presenter, but I also have all my information in place, and I’m ready to present.”
Pablo is the owner/operator of Whisker Wear, a customizable dog and cat collar sleeve cover with interchangeable bowties. “I have a dog, and my mom loves to dress her up. So, I came up with this idea to have more options and customize how she looks.”
Pablo, however, has stiff competition.
Other classroom ventures include jewelry businesses, jar lights, and even a family’s secret chimichurri sauce bottled and ready for mass consumption.
Pablo says his experience with E CITY was eye opening from the very beginning. “I didn’t realize how much work and money it takes to start up a business. There’s a lot of expenses in the equipment you need, the renting space, insurance, and on and on. It costs a lot of money just to start it up. Then, maintaining it. You have to dedicate a lot of time, outside of your personal life and school life, just to run it. It takes a whole lot.”
For his part, Pablo seems quietly confident and grateful for the chance to start a business and make meaningful business connections. “The best part about being in E CITY is the new experiences you have and all the knowledge you gain. If I don’t win, I don’t mind, really. It’s more about all the experience I’m getting, the entrepreneurial skills I’m learning, meeting all these new people and networking.”
There’s still plenty of time to make sure 2017’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year is well prepared when they head to NYC to contend for the top prize at the NFTE national competition and the chance to win $10,000 towards their business venture.
There’s still plenty of time to become a sponsor for the E City Young Entrepreneur of the Year Competition. The E CITY Sponsorship Form is available now.
Click here to learn about volunteer opportunities with E CITY and Y.O.U.