NJ High School Students Honored for Innovative Business Ideas

Madison, NJ – April 6, 2009 - Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies hosted the New Jersey Business Idea Competition on March 27, 2009, in Hennessy Hall, on FDU’s College at Florham. The competition, which was open to all New Jersey high school students, provided a unique opportunity to think creatively and to develop their own business ideas.

Students’ ideas were evaluated on the following criteria: the overall feasibility and persuasiveness of the idea, potential for growth or overall societal benefit, clarity and development of the idea, and the feasibility of building and sustaining a competitive advantage.

Semi-finalists, finalists and a winner from each region of the state: North (Bergen, Passaic, Sussex, Morris, Essex, Warren counties); Central (Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, Middlesex, Mercer and Hudson counties); and South (Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Atlantic, Salem, Cumberland and Cape May counties) were honored at the awards ceremony. Each of the winners received a cash prize and an engraved award. Each regional winner was awarded an additional check and award.

The Northern Region winners are Max Chang and Jeff Wilson, from Whippany Park High School, with Disney’s Xenolog: Language Learning Software. This unique software is designed to educate children in foreign languages using the help of Disney-themed characters.  This software will also introduce the children to the culture associated with each language. The lessons will show the traditions, foods, holidays and lifestyles of the cultures, encouraging in young people a sense of globalization that is growing increasingly important in today’s society.

Also a winner from the Northern Region is John Flannery, from Passaic Valley High School, with ECOsyst: Solar Chimney. This idea is based on the concept of “solar updraft towers,” originally conceived in 1903 by Spanish Colonel Isodoro Cabanyes.  This renewable-energy power plant consists of 3 effects - the chimney effect, the greenhouse effect and the wind turbine.  They work together to create alternative sources of power to be utilized in everyday life. It should be a success because it is a business with morals.

The Central Region winner is Michael Sheehan, from Cranford High School, with NannyStat. Addressing the need to “green our lives”, Sheehan has imagined a state of the art thermostat that is comprised of a touch screen which gives accurate readings of both indoor and outdoor temperature and weather conditions. Its unique window control system with hydraulic pumps placed on all the windows determines how much energy is needed to heat or to cool the home, depending on the outdoor temperatures.

The Southern Region winner is Shravan Savant from Freehold High School, with the GoGreen filter: Cutting Down Co2 One Car at a Time. This cost-effective, solar powered filter can be easily fitted to the exhaust pipe of a vehicle.  Using the reaction of photosynthesis, carbon dioxide will be converted into oxygen, thus maintaining the environment rather than harming it.  Going Green would ensure a brighter and safer future for our children through a cleaner environment.

Finalists for Northern New Jersey and their topics:

Sarah Jeng and Emily Pinnes, Whippany Park High School - GreensCAN 

Eric Skyta, Passaic Valley High School – Everlasting Energy

Finalists for Central New Jersey and their topics:

Abhinav Das, Montgomery High School – Sari Lenders: Bringing an End to Child Labor in India;  

Patrick Pereira, Cranford High School - 0 Drink and Drive; 

Shruti Sharma, Highland Park High School – The Carbon Footprint Indicator

Finalists for Southern New Jersey and their topics:

Mike Bryan and Chris Doyle, Shawnee High School – Game Grandpa

Rob Dube and Rob Sink, Egg Harbor Township High School – Driving Learns—A Simulation Program

David Forward and Matt Gleason, Shawnee High School – Around the World Food and Fun

The mission of the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies of Silberman College of Business is to foster and support entrepreneurship and innovation in the academic and business communities. Since 1989, the Institute has fulfilled its mission by offering innovative academic and outreach programs on the local, regional and increasingly, global levels.


For Immediate Release

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