Young Entrepreneurs Honored in Washington
A high school senior who developed a product to monitor the driving habits of his fellow teenagers took top honors on Monday, as part of the inaugural Plan For the Future competition in Washington.
Jon Fischer, a 17-year-old rising high school senior from Lunenburg, Mass., was named the grand-prize winner, walking away with $7,500 in seed money. His company, Speed-Demon, developed a portable GPS box that mounts on a car dashboard and records what roads a driver travels on and at what speeds -- allowing parents to monitor their children's driving habits. The plan was first developed by Fischer at a science fair and he currently has a patent pending. Once launched, the product is expected to cost $149.
The competition was sponsored by the Young Entrepreneur Foundation, the non-profit education arm of the National Federation of Independent Business, and BizFilings, which provides online incorporation services for small companies.
"The Plan for the Future competition is an excellent opportunity for students like Jon Fischer to develop important entrepreneurial skills and learn business strategies early on," said Hank Kopcial, executive director of the Young Entrepreneur Foundation.
DeVon Ellis-Grant, a junior at Savannah College of Art and Design who runs a video and digital media production company, took the second-place prize of $5,000.
Matthew Schuster, a sophomore at Auburn University, received the third-place prize of $2,500 for his business plan for MS Productions/Sound Source productions, a sound and lighting business for concerts in the southeastern United States.
Additionally, eight students from around the country received $1,000 prizes for their business plans.
"[This] competition provides promising entrepreneurs with real-life experience and encouragement for their ideas," said Mark Schiff general manager of BizFilings SM. "Drafting a solid business plan is the first, and possibly, most important step in starting a successful business."
Correction: The original version of this story misspelled the name of Jon Fischer's hometown.