On Friday, May 28, students from W.T. Clarke High School, located in Westbury, Long Island, were awarded top honors at the final city-wide round of the Junior Achievement of New York Business Plan Competition (BPC), for their amazingly innovative beauty product idea “Infinity Hosiery.” Samantha DiFilippi, Kareema Roushdy, and Samantha Wendorf, members of team Infinity, introduced a business plan that promised to take the hosiery industry to a new level by introducing a new material to withstand rips, pull and runs for up to three months. The team’s detailed business plan sold the premium product at an affordable price and included a line of products including leggings, tights and knee highs in various colors and patterns. The team’s witty sales pitch, “Ever gotten a run on the run? With Infinity Hosiery, say goodbye to runs forever!” won over the panel of judges at the final showdown presented and hosted at NASDAQ OMX MarketSite in Times Square.
Members of the winning team were awarded a cash prize of $3,000 for each team member, iphones courtesy of AT&T, a trophy for their school, business resource support to help them further develop their enterprising ideas and an opportunity to participate in the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony on June 4th in recognition of their outstanding achievement.
“It’s inspiring to see so many young people enthusiastic and engaged in the pursuit of business and innovation,” said Joseph A. Peri, President of JA New York. “Competition, enterprise and innovation drive the American economy. The JA New York Business Plan Competition nurtures the spirit of commerce in young people and encourages them to embrace entrepreneurship as a potential pathway to business and life success.”
Infinity was one of six teams that made it through a high impact 6-week educational program and a series of lightning competition rounds to present their plan at the finals. The students were coached by corporate volunteers who served as mentors and guides to the students during the Business Plan development process.
Interest in the competition has been rising steadily since the launch of the inaugural event three years ago. The annual number of students participating in the competition has grown by 135 percent since 2008. This year, more than 700 students from thirteen schools representing four boroughs in New York City (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens) and a Long Island county (Westbury) submitted entries to the Competition.
Hopefully I will be able to interview the contest winners within the next few weeks.