This year, Breakthrough again brought its Entrepreneurship Class to participate in the High School Business Plan Competitions of Project Echo at UCLA and of Diamond Challenge. Six teams represented Breakthrough this year, and of the six teams, two took back the first and second place in Project Echo's Technology category competition while one made finalist in Diamond Challenge.
Project Echo is a non-profit organization formed in 1996 to provide at-risk students with vocational skills and entrepreneurship training and experience but has since expanded to include students from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The annual Business Plan Competition is held at UCLA Anderson School of Management. The students pitch ideas which includes their R&D, financial analysis, industry surveillance, and marketing in three categories of food and beverage, retail, or technology. Executive level volunteer judges evaluate the teams and award cash prizes.
The Diamond Challenge is one of the largest entrepreneurship competitions for high school students. It was formed by Horn Entrepreneurship, a cornerstone for entrepreneurial activity based at the University of Delaware. The Diamond Challenge shrives to empower the next generation "through entrepreneurial education and enrichment opportunities in order for students to create, capture, and deliver value from new ideas, regardless of their future career path" (Diamond Challenge).
Our teams have been preparing since November, learning the skills necessary to effectively develop a business idea. Our teams' business plans included smart water bottles, a language learning app, and a time management tracking app.
All our teams had a very edifying and fun time pitching their ideas and being able to participate and watch other teams. We're proud to announce that among the winners of Project Echo were Breakthrough's own Kai and Pendulum! Kai is made up of Elvin Chang, Selena He, Wendy Liu, and Jack Wang, and Pendulum is made up of Merry Jiao, Edward Jin, and George Liu. The two teams took 1st and 2nd place in the Technology category for their exceptional and professional business proposals. Another team that deserves an honorary mention is team Euphyte, consisting of Ada Duan, Kristy He, Daina Zhao, and Raymond Zhao, which made it to the top 6 teams in the Diamond Challenge.
For more on Project Echo, click here.
For more on the Diamond Challenge, click here.
For more on our Entrepreneurship and other programs, click here.