February 05, 2009

SANTA MONICA, CA -- Project ECHO has scheduled its fifth annual high school business plan competition for Sunday, March 1, 2009. Hosted by the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA Anderson School of Management, this competition provides high-school students in Greater Los Angeles the opportunity to develop and present business plans to prominent members of the local business community, as they compete for resources to launch their unique ideas.

"Project ECHO empowers students with the resources and support to help them develop new student run ventures and grow existing on-campus businesses," said Chip Goodman, co-founder and chairman, Project ECHO. "We are proud to have 19 of the teams in our competition presenting plans to launch or expand an on-campus business -- which will provide meaningful, hands-on entrepreneurial learning."

The new on-campus venture, Venice High Sports Medicine, will provide low-cost movement screenings for students and people in the local community to learn how to maintain a healthy body and avoid chances for future injury. Their service also provides correctional and rehabilitation exercises for the client in order to eliminate impingements and improve their functional movement screen score. To do so, trainers will set individual goals and personal timelines for each client.

Then there are the students from Le Cafe de Jeunes Gens, an off-campus business concept to promote the well being of teens in their community. The Cafe will provide a place to go which is safe and productive. Le Cafe de Jeunes Gens will offer many programs such as yoga, poetry night, film workshops, film night (Independent filmmakers welcomed), art workshops, dance classes, creative writing, music classes, screenwriter night, music night, 80's night, 60's night, and multicultural night. The Cafe seeks young adults interested in any type of art or in search for help. The goal is to create an ambience where an interest is shared, different viewpoints are shared, and new ideas are created amongst a large audience.

During the twelve weeks leading up to the competition, UCLA Anderson MBA students act as mentors to the participating teams. The UCLA Anderson students visit classrooms to teach the Project ECHO business plan curriculum, meet with teams to review their written plans, and prepare students for their oral presentations.

"Project ECHO gives students the chance to learn more about business fundamentals and then apply what they've learned immediately through the development of their business plans," said Carine Ildebrando, UCLA Anderson MBA 2009. "One of the best parts about being a mentor in a Project ECHO is seeing how creative and passionate the students are about their ideas. It's amazing how much has been accomplished since November, and it is truly exciting to know that some of these businesses can come to fruition in the near future."

This year, 27 teams will be competing in one of three categories: New On-Campus Business, Existing On-Campus Business and Off-Campus Business. Winning teams from each category will receive a $1,000 award, second place teams will receive a $500 award and third place teams will receive a $250 award. In addition, Project ECHO will work closely with the award recipients throughout the year, providing ongoing resources and support in seeking out opportunities to finance their business ideas.

Participating Schools

  • Animo Film & Theatre Arts High School
  • Animo Watts 1 (Locke Tech) High School
  • Banning High School
  • Canoga Park High School
  • Charter Oak High School
  • Hamilton High School
  • Ivy Academia Charter School
  • LA Leadership Academy
  • Narbonne High School
  • Santa Monica High School
  • Santa Susana High School
  • South Pasadena High School

The public is invited to attend the competition on Sunday, March 1, 2009 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. During the morning session, all teams will present their business plans. A networking reception will be held at 1:00 pm, followed by the award ceremony when the winners will be announced. The competition will be held on the UCLA campus at UCLA Anderson School of Management, Korn Hall. Contact Project ECHO at (310) 434-2701 to reserve seats.

About Project ECHO
Project ECHO hosts an annual Business Plan Competition with UCLA Anderson School of Management and provides start-up and ongoing support to on-campus businesses in high schools in Greater Los Angeles. Project ECHO is unique among organizations that provide business education to K-12 in its emphasis on fostering on-campus businesses. Project ECHO encourages hands-on, experiential learning through the development and support of on-campus businesses and integrating modules on new-business creation into career-technology courses.

To find out more about Project ECHO, please visit www.projectecho.org.

About the Entrepreneur Association
The Entrepreneur Association (EA) is the largest student organization at UCLA Anderson School of Management. The EA offers its more than 600 members a wide range of extracurricular activities, from mentoring relationships and networking events to opportunities for experiential learning. The Entrepreneur Association works closely with the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. The Price Center provides curriculum, research, and experiential learning programs that prepare MBA candidates for the challenges of management in entrepreneurial environments.

To find out more about EA, please visit www.uclamba.com.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management, established in 1935, is regarded among the leading business schools in the world. UCLA Anderson faculty are renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Each year, UCLA Anderson provides management education to more than 1,700 students enrolled in MBA, Executive MBA, Fully-Employed MBA and doctoral programs, and to more than 2,000 professional managers through executive education programs. Combining highly selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a world-wide network of 36,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders.

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