The competition is designed to give would-be entrepreneurs a real-world experience to deepen their business understanding and presentation skills in front of a panel of real investors and venture capitalists.
Students must present a pitch, a video commercial, and a poster to advertise their business. In the style of Dragons Den, the judges are very harsh on the presenters, trying to expose weak points in the business plan. It requires a great deal of intellectual confidence, something the school tries to instil in all our students.
While I was watching the students, what struck me was that their excellent performance was really a reflection of the culmination of skills and values the students have gained here at BISS Puxi. The interdisciplinary nature was illustrated by the charts, graphs, PowerPoint and Excel work that built upon what the ICT and Maths departments have achieved. The poise, diction, and presentation skills have been honed in the English and Drama departments. The Film and Media Department skills combined with ICT shined through in the video production process. And of course, the base of communication was formed for many participants in the EAL Department. The students brought all of these skills together with their business skills to present a highly-focused presentation that received very strong accolades in the preliminary rounds. The Business Department may have led them to Beijing, but really it was the success of the whole school on display.
The team easily made it into the Final round in the two categories in which they entered and ultimately received Second-Place for the commercial category, which encompasses not just filmmaking ability, but also marketing skill and fit with the overall business plan. Overall, it was a strong showing for our first time in attendance and the whole BISS Puxi community should be extremely proud of them.
- Matt Worley, Business Studies Teacher
Here are some thoughts from the students about their experience:
"Jay, Kelly, Erika and I signed up for taking part in the Young Entrepreneurs Competition. We had to do a marketing plan pitch for a product, we had to think about where we could sell the product, what it could do, why people would want to buy it, what was the appropriate price for the product…etc.
It was a great experience and I felt proud that our group worked really well as a team. I really enjoyed this trip and I’d like to participate next year too!!"
- Suanne Hsieh
"Putting our business studies knowledge into real life was challenging, but exiting at the same time. Team members were exited to actually plan for a realistic business. Although the whole planning was hard work, it was definitely worth the experience. It helped us understand what real businesses have to go through in order to start up a business, or get investments. Not only did we get to practice our business skills and knowledge, but we also got to learn from other participants at the competition."
- Youngji Jay Ahn
"Mr. Worley really helped us to make us feel prepared to stand up in front of other people confidently. Thanks to all the preparation we had done, we could present our product with ease, without making mistakes or getting too stressed. Fortunately, both our video commercial and the pitch got into the second round, I believe it was a result of us working so hard collectively as a team. I still can’t forget the way we were all screaming when we realized we made the finals for both our video and the pitch.
When they announced that we made second place with our commercial, we were all so happy, some of us were even crying. I’d like to honour Erika at this point for editing our video, and also my brother Brian for playing the main role in the commercial!
The business trip was a great experience, and I really want to thank Mr. Worley for taking us and preparing us this year. I am looking forward to joining next year with another fun business plan! Thank you Mr. Worley, Jay, Erika and Suanne!"
- Kelly Kim