Denise Graham- McAllen, TX – Regional Competition/ Miami, FL – National Competition, 1st Place
“BizFest allowed me to explore a different aspect of entrepreneurship and business; it changed my perspective and made me realize that business does not just include bookkeeping and numbers, but also includes critical thinking and creativity.”
Denise’s unique business plan evolved from an online babysitter matchmaking service to a daycare center at her local mall. Her practicable idea and presentation placed her amongst the top scorers at her Regional BizFest Competition. Denise strives to go to college to study international politics and one day hopes to open her own international non-profit organization.
Aranza Garza - McAllen, TX – Regional Competition /Miami, FL – National Competition, 2nd Place
“BizFest was an amazing experience! The trainers, speakers and volunteers were very helpful and motivating. I learned new things, met new people, and I gained the skills and mindset of an entrepreneur. I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful program!”
An enthusiastic chef, Aranza Garza’s business plan for the McAllen, TX Regional BizFest incorporated her love of cooking and her desire to help others. “Home Cookin’” is a local food delivery system of healthy, home cooked meals using local produce. A junior in high school, Aranza plans on attending college and majoring in the sciences with a minor in business administration.
Luis Venegas - San Diego, CA – Regional Competition/Miami, FL – National Competition, 3rd Place
“Opportunities are everywhere. BizFest taught me that as an entrepreneur, you have to take advantage of them.”
Faced with a one-way, 2 hour commute to school on the city bus, Luis was inspired to create a business that provides free Wi-Fi on public transportation in San Diego. His innovative plan to partner with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit system gave him a competitive advantage with the judges. Luis would like to major in criminal justice and eventually attend law school.
Guadalupe Barajas - San Diego, CA – Regional Competition/ Miami, FL – National Competition
“BizFest was a great opportunity for me to explore potential options for my future professional career. I really encourage everyone to take it seriously and to enjoy themselves. Take hold of every opportunity and make the best of EVERYTHING!”
Guadalupe’s business plan, Eco-Able Inc, is focused on helping large businesses in Atlanta minimize their impact on the earth by selling office supply products that are eco-friendly and biodegradable. Ranked as the most wasteful city in America, Atlanta is the ideal setting for launching her business. Her interest insustainability has led Guadalupe to consider one day majoring in environmental studies.
Sara Bennack - McAllen, TX – Regional Competition/ Miami, FL – National Competition
“When I walked into BizFest the first day, I knew nothing about business. Now, I’m considering getting a degree in it. BizFest was truly an amazing, eye opening experience!”
Prior to participating in the Regional BizFest Competition, Sara was highly interested in fashion and had already been sketching and creating her own designs. BizFest helped her take something she was passionate about and turned it into a dream career choice. When she graduates from college with a major in business or fashion design, Sara would like to be a leader in the fashion industry.
Joanna Brito - San Diego, CA – Regional Competition / Miami, FL – National Competition
“The BizFest competition completely blew me away. The concepts I learned about entrepreneurship and starting a business will stay with me forever. I am grateful for the opportunity I received and am proud to take advantage of all these new experiences.”
Dismayed by the number of illiterate Hispanic adults in California, Joanna was motivated to develop a non-profit business aimed at providing bilingual literacy education. Her at-home tutoring idea impressed judges with its simplicity and immediate potential. A senior in high school, Joanna plans to go to college and major in English or the sciences.
Jesus Gonzalez - McAllen, TX – Regional Competition / Miami, FL – National Competition
“BizFest was a truly incredible experience. It was the first time I was ever challenged to develop a business plan and it opened my mind to the business principles that will help me succeed in life. Even if I don’t go into business BizFest has motivated and inspired me to achieve my goals.”
“Eco Sun Ride” was created out of a need Jesus saw in his community for an environmentally friendly mode of transportation for local schools. This innovative business plan for solar power school buses combines his interest in business and his enthusiasm for engineering. A junior
in high school, Jesus is looking forward to applying to college and majoring in mechanical engineering.
Jesus Montijo III - San Diego, CA – Regional Competition / Miami, FL – National Competition
“Participating in BizFest was a privilege and I am grateful to the USHCC for bringing this program to San Diego. I believe I have the potential to become an entrepreneur and BizFest is opening the doors of opportunity for me.”
Jesus Montijo won judges over at the Regional BizFest Competition in San Diego, CA with his business plan, Pro-Neck. This revolutionary safety device, used to assist in the prevention of a serious neck injury common to football players, secured him a top spot in the competition. Jesus plans to attend college after high school and major in business.
Oscar Paz - McAllen, TX – Regional Competition / Miami, FL – National Competition
“BizFest is hands down one of the best programs I’ve ever been involved in. The professors and student aids are always there to help your project improve. By the end of the program you’ve gained so much confidence in your own business that you actually want to start it up. I’d recommend this program to anyone who’s interested in business, or just wants to have fun.”
Inspired by a BizFest exercise asking students to list three problems in their community, Oscar created “Graffiti Removal” as a way to restore the beauty of his Rio Grande Valley neighborhood. His business, the only one of its kind in the area, would use only biodegradable paint removers. Upon graduating from high school, Oscar plans to go to college and major in business or astrophysics.
Gio Sahagun - San Diego, CA – Regional Competition / Miami, FL – National Competition
“BizFest was like a roller coaster ride. It started slow and suddenly before I realized it, I was on a ride full of twists and turns that I did not expect. It’s a ride that everyone should experience first-hand.”
Realizing the need for students to have a safe, healthy and fun place to study, Gio created “Your Time” as an alternative to the library. His business, which offers snacks, laptop rentals and free Wi-Fi, placed Gio in the finals at his regional BizFest Competition. Though undecided on a major, Gio plans on attending college upon graduating high school this year.
Tyler Scott - McAllen, TX – Regional Competition / Miami, FL – National Competition
“BizFest was an experience that not only coached me on how to effectively execute my thoughts and ideas, but also inspired me to lead with confidence and dignity. I cannot wait for the national competition in Miami, and the opportunity to meet and present in front of many successful business entrepreneurs.”
Tyler’s “On Target Laser Tag” business plan earned him the title of Most Entrepreneurial at the Regional BizFest Competition in McAllen, TX. His business plan for a productive, healthy and fun activity for teenagers in the Rio Grande Valley impressed judges with its immediate feasibility. Tyler’s entrepreneurial spirit may lead him to pursue a major in business.
Kevin Thai - San Diego, CA – Regional Competition / Miami, FL – National Competition
“BizFest opened my mind to the real world of business and entrepreneurship. It was a rewarding experience for me because we presented our business plans to a panel of real business people. I had never experienced anything like it.”
While many students are intimidated by math, Kevin thoroughly enjoys it and seeks ways to boost mathematical understanding in his fellow classmates. His business plan for a holographic graphing calculator would allow users to see mathematical concepts in 3D. Upon graduation from high school Kevin plans to go to college and major in math or engineering.