TiE-DC’s business class competition for students produces joint winners

The competition was held on the final day of the eight-week-long TyE boot camp.

Students who attended TiE DC's boot camp with TiE DC President Dr. Satyam Priyadarshy (second from left, front row) and Dr. Mahesh Joshy (left, second row), who conducted the camp.
Students who attended TiE DC’s boot camp, with TiE DC President Dr. Satyam Priyadarshy (second from left, front row) and Dr. Mahesh Joshy (left, second row), who conducted the camp.

By Raif Karerat

Two teams shared the first prize at the business plan competition hosted by the Washington, DC, chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) as part of its annual entrepreneurship boot camp for high school students, which concluded at the Fairfax campus of the George Mason University earlier this month.

Ten members of SPRY and Pensrazi shared $5,000 between them. Nineteen students presented plans in all. The prize money was sponsored by the Rockville, MD, -based Infinite Computer Solutions Ltd.

The SPRY team came up with a business plan to launch a company, which will manufacture cell phone cases that will charge the phone using kinetic energy.

The Pensrazi device is a smart drug dispenser that will help patients to take medicines on time and in proper quantity.

The competition was held on April 9, the final day of The Young Entrepreneur (TyE) boot camp. SPRY and Pensrazi will now make another presentation before judges and the winner will compete against winning teams from other global TiE competitions in Portland, Oregon, at the end of June.

The eight-week-long boot camp was led by Dr. Mahesh Joshi, Director of Research and Practice at George Mason’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Dr. Satyam Priyardarshy, the president of TiE-DC and chief data scientist at Halliburton Corporation.

Students were chosen for the program from the DC Metro area, which includes Maryland and Northern Virginia, based on the merit of their applications.

“When students apply they have to explain what they’ve accomplished so far and whether they currently have any sort of idea for a business,” Dr. Joshi, who conducted the camp, told the American Bazaar. “They have to describe it and they have to justify why they are suitable for the program.”

Aside from learning about the basics of entrepreneurship, students were split into teams and tasked with coming up with an original, innovative business idea to be assessed by judges who did not participate in the educational portion of the boot camp.

“We at TiE’s DC chapter, where I am also a board member, believe it is helpful to start our effort on entrepreneurship right at the school level,” explained Dr. Joshi. “It is important that aspiring kids can visualize what entrepreneurship can do for them.”

“The fifth annual TyE boot camp for fostering entrepreneurial activity among high school students in the DC Metro area was a grand success for various reasons,” Dr. Priyadarshy, who kick-started the camp, along with Dr. Joshi, several years ago, told The American Bazaar.

“The business plans presented were of higher quality and demonstrated the energy of the students in pursuing their ideas.”

Dr. Priyadarshy, a globally recognized leader in Big Data and Data Science, said when he started the boot camp five year ago, he had not envisioned that it would be such a big success. “But the success of previous boot camps and the desire of the students to get into entrepreneurship has made my vision bigger,” he said. “We get more students than we can admit, but we are going to expand to create DC area TyE to be globally competitive.”

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