Brains for business
On Saturday, March 4, two of the Village School’s Entrepreneurship Diploma businesses competed in the University of Houston Think Tank pitch competition at the Wolff Center of Entrepreneurship. Eighteen teams from high schools and programs within Greater Houston communities competed against one another for prize money to invest in their businesses provided by the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston.
Both Village teams, Step In Education and WhoGotNzxt, placed in the final top five teams and then had to pitch in front of a panel of judges consisting of UH faculty. After much deliberation, the judges decided to award first place to WhoGotNzxt. This business, run by juniors Walton Kunu, Shaan Patel, and Dante Zain Ilham, provides exposure for underrepresented high school athletes. They have a series of packages high school athletes can buy, including social media services and customizable graphics to increase their visibility to college recruiters, along with mentoring to help athletes choose the right college. To learn more, see @whogotnzxt on Instagram or whogotnzxt.com.
“I felt so happy at the end when they announced that we won because this was something that the entire team worked extremely hard for,” said Zain Ilham.
In addition to attaining a prestigious accolade, the event helped Viking entrepreneurs gain exposure to vital networking opportunities and grow a better understanding of what successful businesses look like.
“To me, the best part of the UH Think Tank pitch competition was getting to learn from other businesses there and what their techniques were,” said Kunu. “This gave me a good insight into what our own business is doing well and what areas need improvement. I also enjoyed the connections made and relationships built in my time there.”
The Village School was also awarded the star award for outstanding school for having two teams place in the top five. This honor is a testament to the business acumen of the students in our school’s Entrepreneurship diploma program, which helps them learn how to showcase their ideas effectively and persuasively.
Editor’s note: Aditi Iyer is a reporter for our online blog School Buzz, where this article was first published.
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