DECA organizes incubator entrepreneurship competition

Harsh Jain

Lynbrook’s DECA Business club held its first ever incubator entrepreneurship competition on Friday May 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.. The competition was held in the Lynbrook library and participants were judged on a product they created. Competitors could enter in two categories: designing a mobile/web application or a physical product.

Junior Vinay Senthil, one of the main coordinators of the event, wanted to give students who were not in DECA an opportunity to explore business and marketing.

“I wanted to create an event that encouraged students to pitch their ideas to real judges and entrepreneurs and receive feedback while in a competition format,” said Senthil. “Rather than focusing on the business plan, I wanted participants to focus on creating feasible ideas in a way that convinced a judge.”

The event consisted of an afternoon of workshops, competitions, and guest speakers, allowing students to explore different aspects of DECA. Audience members had a chance to explore all competitors’ projects, as well as to ask questions.

“[The team] was trying to make an event that was about entrepreneurship and giving [students] an outlet to talk to venture capitalists,” said DECA adviser Brad Fulk. “They were trying to open it up to more than DECA members. I think it went really well for being an early attempt.”

At the beginning of the event, contestants, in teams of one to three people, set up their project displays and both audience members and judges were able to view each project. The guest speakers and a local entrepreneur judged the projects, taking into consideration factors such as originality, impact and presentation. Both guest speakers then spoke about their respective professions and how youth can get involved in starting companies and pursuing business ideas. Finally, awards were presented to five finalists at the end of the event. Clean Currents, Fit ME and Guru placed in third, second and first respectively.

Created by junior Avinash Jain, senior Brian Lin and Staples High School senior Dylan Diamond in January of this year, Guru is an iOS application that aims to connect students who have trouble on certain academic topics.

“Our goal is to make Guru accessible to anyone who has a device so that everyone can easily get help whenever they need to,” said Lin. “Guru is different from traditional methods in that it is easily accessible, cheap, instant and flexible.”

Although the team was happy with the event, they plan to make additional changes in the future.

“Some improvements we will try to implement in the future is marketing it to get more people involved and trying to start planning a little earlier,” said Fulk.

Despite being its first year in commission, the DECA Incubator was a great event that spoke to the attendees. With more to come in the future, this event will hopefully become a staple for Lynbrook students.