TiE Young Entrepreneurs-Boston had its grand finale with the students participating in the 10K Business Plan Competition on April 7 at the Holiday Inn Select in Woburn Mass. Eight teams -- Aurora, Enlighten, Medicia, MedTech, Productions 3D, Reperio, TutorConnect and Yolo -- participated with ideas that spanned diverse sectors like education, health care, cleantech and technology.
Productions 3D, creator of SharpFit, a tool which uses the Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor to create profiles to help consumers accurately receive fittings for apparel from their home, won the first prize of $5,000. This all boys team of high school students included Govind Srivastav, CEO; Siddharth Annaldasula, CFO; Soham Kudtarkar, CTO; Aneesh Heintz, COO; and Rasheed Raziuddin, CMO.
Second place went to Enlighten, producers of a pico projector with better picture and audio quality, who won $3,000.
Third place went to Reperio, a solution to locate misplaced items using RFID tracking technology, which won $2,000.
The teams presented their business plans to a panel of judges including Ajit Kambil, global research director of the CFO Program at Deloitte; Bryan McCorry, senior audit manager for KPMG's New England Venture Capital Practice; Gaugarin Oliver, CEO of RedEgg Solutions Inc; Rama Ramakrishnan, founder and CEO of CQuotient; and Satish Tadikonda, founder, president and CEO of Virtify.
The highlight of the event was the inspirational keynote from Pedro T. Santos, founder and CEO of OsComp Systems. As he spoke of the highs and lows of his life and entrepreneurial journey, he kept the mood humorous yet realistic offering advice to the students along the way. The two key take-aways for the students were to continue to focus on their studies because it will build the skills they need for the future and that "not winning today is the 1st step in that long road" to success. Pedro ended with an analogy between entrepreneurship and the marathon that we should all keep in mind: "No one wins their 1st marathon. When you start, there are a lot of other competitors who are very qualified and have been training for a very long time and will most likely win. But if you keep trying every time work hard and train again and go to the next one. Eventually you will win one."
TiE Young Entrepreneurs is TiE-Boston's signature program for high school students with a mission to excite young people to discover the rewards and challenges of becoming entrepreneurs and business leaders. This program introduces entrepreneurship and business to students improving their self confidence and developing leadership skills and capabilities.
Since the inception of TyE in 2005, over 240 students have participated in the program from over 25 local schools in New England. This year, over 40 high school students spent Saturday mornings learning what it means to be an entrepreneur.