These Herndon High students are executives of their own company, and they haven't even graduated yet.
The Business Management Virtual Enterprise class at Herndon High spent the fall semester this year creating a company, V-LO Chip, Inc. (Virtual Locating Chip), that is destined to go places.
The students in Mrs. Kathy Thomas’s class created a virtual company that designed a tracking device which can locate any object it is attached to.
It conveniently allows an individual to search and immediately find a lost or misplaced item, and can also be used to locate and track commercial equipment.
The class is run like a business with students acting as employees with a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and the like. The company is comprised of numerous departments including executive, accounting, marketing, human resources, and research and development, as well as a Board of Directors.
The students wrote their business plan, asked for a virtual $500,000 startup loan, and then defended their plan before three panels of judges on Dec. 18, 2013.
The top six teams were selected for a final round of presentations—and the Herndon High School students came home with the first-place trophy.
The students will now represent the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Virtual Enterprise National Competition, April 1-4, in New York City.
This is the third time in the last three years that Herndon High School has had the opportunity to represent Virginia in the national competition.
Thomas attributes the success of her classes to the hard work of her students and the guidance they receive from leaders in the community who have expertise in the area of the type of company the students create.
"From entrepreneurs, business owners, scientists, engineers and a CPA, their professionalism has proved invaluable to the development of the business plan and the education of the students," said Richard D. Stacy, an adjunct professor at the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies in D.C., who acted as coach to this year's class.
Stacy explained, each year the team identifies a product and develops a comprehensive business plan for the competition.
"As a business owner and college professor, I believe it is important to let members of the community know that students are learning and effectively using real-world business skills," Stacy said. "At the end of last year’s competition, one of the judges indicated he was ready to provide assistance to bring the virtual business to reality."
Stacy added, Thomas and the students invest a significant amount of time during and after school to prepare for the state and national competition.
The 2013-2014 Virtual Enterprise team will now set about raising the funds needed to make the trip to National Competition in New York City in April.
The Virtual Enterprise Team from Herndon High School:
Steven Barbaro (team's CTO)
Andrea Ipinza (team's CEO)
Robert Koss (team's COO)
Andrew Maccini (team's CMO)
Sara Pena (team's CHRO)
Han Phan (team's CFO)
The program and competition is part of the larger Virtual Enterprise International (VEI)'s U.S. network. Visit Virginia's page here. To learn more about the program and competition, visit V.E.I.'s About page.
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