Mattituck Students Enter Virtual Enterprise Business Plan Competition
Mattituck High School’s Virtual Business Class students will attend an International Virtual Business Fair in Brooklyn in April to help fund their mock business.
This year, the class invented “Glow Games,” a company that makes illuminated recreational products including pool tables, darts, mini-golf sets, basketballs and more.
Led by teacher LuAnne Nappe, 12 class members presented the company to the judges on January 9 at the annual Virtual Enterprise Business Plan Competition and Trade Show at Long Island University in Brookville. The group faced off against other school districts in Suffolk and Nassau counties.
The class won three awards: a silver medal for a 45-second video commercial written, filmed and edited by seniors Greg Hauser and James Jacobs; a gold medal for the company’s newsletter, designed by senior Sierra McShane; and a silver medal in the branding competition, in which judges criticized the company’s slogans, logos, fonts and colors. This part of the project was designed by senior Riley Hoeg. All projects were submitted in advance electronically.
The 25 students in the class sell and trade simulated products with a network of other VE companies in 42 countries using an online banking system set up with Virtual Enterprise International. These products are “sold” at trade shows and on their website, glowgamesny.com. Products are also available by phone at Glow Games Headquarters, located in Ms. Nappe’s classroom during class time.
To prepare for the competition, students completed a six-page catalog order form and a 26-page business plan in addition to the other award-winning documents.
Glow Games is divided into several departments, including technology, human resources, sales, and marketing. Each student has their own role and their own way of contributing to the company. Some keep track of finances, while others sell and buy products, Ms. Nappe said. Each sale must be documented online.
The Virtual Enterprise class is only open to juniors and seniors, Ms. Nappe said, and can be taken for two years. A senior student taking the course for the second time must apply to become an officer or class leader, who can âbring knowledge to the job,â she said.
This year, the five senior officers prepared and presented the Glow Games business plan to the trade show judges. Ms Nappe said those results had not been announced, but that students would attend the April show regardless of the outcome.
âIt’s like a two-part thing,â she explained. âWhile I was taking kids to the competition, others were working in the salon. “
Ms Nappe said this was the fifth year the students had entered the annual competition and trade show. In the past, students recycled the same company used in previous courses, Body Kinetics, which sold computerized sports equipment, but this year was different.
âI felt like the kids didn’t take ownership of this business,â she said. âThis year I decided to start from scratch and found that now they take ownership of this property and really believe in the business. They want it to make money.
While it’s more work for her and the students, Ms. Nappe said, the business bottom line is stronger if they start over every year.
Students are excited about the next trade show, she said, and this is where virtual businesses make the most money.
âThat’s why we support them, so that they sell the products and keep the business going that way,â she said. âIf they didn’t attend the show, they wouldn’t have the money. It’s just not enough internet sales for them.
Riley said she can use what she learned from the course in the future.
âIt really gives you an idea of ââwhat to expect in real life,â she said, âand what you can get by working in a company.â
Photo caption: Mattituck-Cutchogue Glow Games officers Sierra Mitchell, Meghan Riley, Tyler F. Olsen, James Jacobs and Brian Nicholson presented their company’s business plan in the Virtual Enterprise competition on January 9. (Courtesy photo)