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High School VEI Competition Coming to Pasadena Convention Center

One of the 72 teams from the VE state competition hosted in January in Bakersfield, CA where 5 teams from the Business Plan competition will compete in the national competition, April 16, in New York along with finalists from Los Angeles competition.

On February 13, high school student teams from LA County, Orange County and the Inland Empire/Desert Region competed at the Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) Los Angeles Area Conference and Exhibition at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Teams showcased their products and services through a series of business education exhibitions and competitions. Students set up booths and present their marketing and business plans, sales materials, employee handbooks, websites, video commercials and more to business leaders who will judge and select winners.

Lisa Kiplinger-Kennedy, Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator for the Inland Empire/Desert Region is excited to participate in this year’s event. She has sponsored teams from her region and provided financial support for the competition.

“Students virtually sell their products at this event,” she explains. “You can go by their booths and they’ll give you their pitch on what their product is, tell you about their company, why their company is different, and with your virtual credit card, you can buy products from them.”

Students from the Inland Empire/Desert Region are no strangers to this competition. Three of the top six teams from the recent statewide Business Plan Competition Finals were from the Inland Empire area and will be at the Los Angeles Conference. Solemates from Murrieta Valley High School took third place at the January event, Clear Coast Eyewear, also from Murrieta Valley High School came in fourth, and Highrise Gardens from Bloomington High School came in sixth place.
This year’s keynote speaker is Jake Kefler, who authored the best-selling book, Elevate Beyond: A Real World Guide to Standing Out in Any Job Market, Discovering Your Passion and Becoming Your Own Person. Kefler will be doing a book signing at the event.
Kiplinger-Kennedy notes that there will be 76 booths with 78 firms this year, and there is a clear goal in mind for these student teams.

“We’d like the students to come away from here learning what it’s like in the real world to run a business. Learning what it takes to plan it, what finances are involved, and the upkeep and inventory they need,” she said.

Alese Campbell, Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator for the Central Valley/Mother Lode Region also supported the January event by judging business pitch regional and state competitions and funding 10 Virtual Trade Show booths for high school teams. Team Anomalous from Bakersfield High School took first place in the Business Plan Competition Finals.

“All of the 72 virtual teams participating did an amazing job developing and managing their operations,” said Campbell. “These future entrepreneurs are well trained and may just have that next million-dollar idea.”

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