Standing amid the crowded hallways of the Nassau County Capitol building in Mineola late last month, Oceanside High School senior Eugene Raczka described a problem common to young adults: finding time for breakfast. “There is never enough,” he said. “… And convenience is a factor.”
Citing statistics from the Kellogg company that put 36% of school-aged teens skipping meals, Raczka gave her pitch for a solution – Snack Attack, a subscription-based company that would deliver boxes of breakfast. weekly. in case.
Obviously, including membership in the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, Snack Attack looks like a real business, but is actually a simulation of it. The company is part of the high school’s virtual enterprise program, and Raczka and her team of student entrepreneurs were at the county government headquarters on April 25 to compete among 26 teams of student entrepreneurs at 15 high schools as part of the 6th annual high school. Entrepreneurial challenge business competition.
Shark Tank didn’t, but he had some remarkable similarities. The teams presented their arguments to juries made up of local business owners to determine who had the best and most viable business idea. Jillian Weston, an Oceanside High School graduate and founder of Oceanside-based online marketing firm Jillian’s Circus, who was one of the judges for the event, said panels are looking at various factors to determine whether a business idea is viable.
“I want to know that it’s well documented, that they have thought about it and I want to know that they are realistic about the financial data,” she said. “That they are realistic about the real cost of developing this and the reality of starting and maintaining a business.” ”
Weston added that the presentation was important as well and that the students seemed confident to pass their ideas on. Details also matter, she said, as if they shake hands with the judge and how well they behave, “things,” she said, “that you would look for in a job interview “.
Snack Attack is the “brainchild” of Raczka, its CEO, and his team of Oceanside student entrepreneurs, according to Mike Lowrey, their virtual business professor. “It’s really motivated by them,” he said of his students.
A requirement of the competition is that businesses have an eco-friendly element, in which case Snack Attack would donate a portion of their proceeds to Operation Splash, a nonprofit dedicated to cleaning up the waterways of the South Shore.
“We thought it would be nice to work with them,” said Ashley Murch, vice president of marketing for Snack Attack. “Because I think cleaning our waters is important, but it’s also an issue that affects everyone, not just a certain group of people. “
Murch added that Snack Attack’s target market is customers between the ages of 15 and 30, “people with busy lives,” she said.
“Today has been a great day,” said County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, who hosted the event. “We have some really brilliant high school kids. ”
He said he was impressed with how young entrepreneurs have embraced technology and civic engagement into their business ideas, adding, “I feel great about the future of Nassau County.”
For the founders of Snack Attack, they said they hope the next class of virtual business students will continue to maintain the company and the brand. CFO Amanda Bonacasa said the sustainability of Snack Attack depends on the next group’s decision to develop the idea. “I hope next year’s class will continue our activity,” she said, taking into account real financial concerns. “They need to make sure they increase sales and brand awareness, or reduce payroll expenses.”