ENTREPRENEURS: Sophomores put business plan to test with competition

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Sophomore boys usually can be found spending free time playing video games or sports, but two SkillsUSA members are budding entrepreneurs instead.

  “I’ve always been into ‘Shark Tank’,” sophomore Ervin Friesen said. “We had trouble knowing where to start this business, but Ms. Fleming brought us to Red Raider Startup from Texas Tech to begin our business plan.” 

  Business teacher Jana Fleming helped Friesen, who is in her business class, and auto tech sophomore Davis Banman by directing them to the entrepreneur contest sponsored by the university.

  “Red Raider Startup is an entrepreneur two-day training,” Fleming said. “It’s an online website for people to see your business pitch and critique it.”

  The sophomore duo used the website to introduce their start-up, On The Go Auto. The business plan features a service for customers who are too busy to go to the mechanic. On The Go Auto would go to the customer instead.

  “In On The Go Auto we do maintenance on your vehicle–mostly just oil changes to start with,” Banman said. “It is a very convenient business.”

  The duo has submitted their business idea into Red Raider Startup for the chance to win a reward.”

  “We are competing against 25 other businesses,” Friesen said. “First place wins $2,000, second place wins $1,000 and third place wins $500.”

  The sophomores have been posting signs with QR codes around the school so that people are able to vote for their business on Red Raider Start-Up. As of Dec. 10 they had 1,113 votes.

  “We posted signs around the school to get our name out there,” Friesen said. “We’re trying to speak our business into existence.”

  On the Go Auto has until Jan. 5 to get votes toward the $2,000 prize. Most of their competition is from college students.

  “We submitted our pitch and came up with ways to spread the word about our business,” Banman said. “We are trying to get votes before Jan. 5.”

  Auto tech teacher Thomas Spence gave them the idea of this business. 

  “We believe this business will be a viable option for our future,” Banman said. “We are planning to launch it this summer.”

  Fleming said this contest gives these sophomores a glimpse into the business world.

  “This is a great learning experience to prepare them for a job like this,” Fleming said. “It teaches them to think of the idea based on the public’s problem rather than just coming up with a solution.”