JP Taravella’s Virtual Enterprise firm, Focal Point Inc., travelled to New York recently to participate in the VEI Global Youth Summit, a three-day event that included the National Business Plan Competition, the Global Business Challenge, and the International Trade Show.  In addition, Focal Point was one of four featured student-run firms at VEI’s 20th annual Gala benefitting Virtual Enterprises International.

The seven-student team, all seniors, presented the business plan they wrote that won first place in the state.  They competed against firms from throughout the United States. While they didn’t place in this competition, it was a tremendous learning opportunity for the students and their teacher alike, since this was the first year any Broward school took part in this program.

Senior Michael Hazan was a member of the team that won third place in the Global Business Challenge.  Students were given a Harvard Business School case study to review before arriving in New York.  Then they were put into teams with 9 other students from around the world whom they had never met.  Teams were given two hours to collaborate on a solution to the business case, create a presentation, and deliver it to the panel of judges.  32 teams of 10 participated in this activity.

The Focal Point team also created a trade show booth for their company, and participated in an actual trade show with more than 120 other student firms.  They sold their products, bought products from other firms, and learned what it takes to effectively sell in this fast-paced, chaotic business environment.