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Budding Entrepreneurs

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos hosted the first-ever “Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial High School Challenge.” Forty teams of 200 business students from high schools across the county, including student teams from Division Avenue High School and MacArthur High School, presented their business plans to launch a new product or service. 


Three teams represented Division Avenue High School in the challenge.  Some of the other business plans included bringing an existing fast food franchise to Long Island, and developing a recreational sporting complex. 

Lyndsey Petrofsky of Division Avenue High School explained why her team chose their business plan of a horror themed hotel with a haunted house. She said, “There’s really not much for people our age to do here on Long Island; this will be fun and exciting and people will want to come and see it.”


MacArthur High School sent 14 teams. 


Over the past month, the business teams from each school had to prepare their concept, mostly from scratch, developing marketing strategies, sales pitches, financial reports, construction costs, etc. Each team had 10 minutes to convince a panel of expert judges that their business plan is commercially successful in Nassau County. 


The Entrepreneurial High School Challenge event was held at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola. 


Roslyn High School showcased an alternative biofuel that can power vehicles with “Grassoline” (grass) and won $1,500 scholarships per student to Hofstra University. Second place was won by New Hyde Park Memorial High School who proposed a business plan for an indoor sports complex. The second place team split $4,000 from Healthplex, a dental insurance provider. 


“Today we saw some of the brightest young minds of Nassau County competing to create innovative businesses that can thrive in today’s global economy,” Comptroller Maragos said. “The business ideas presented were stunning and could only have been conceived by fresh young minds who view the world through different lenses.”


Other participants in the Challenge included: Long Island Lutheran High School, Massapequa High School, Oyster Bay High School, Plainedge High School, and Elmont High School. 


Sponsors and judges included: Hofstra University (first place prize $1,500 per student scholarship; HealthPlex (second place prize of $4,000 split between teammates; The New Plum Tomatoes of Mineola provided pizza for all participants; Sweet Karma Desserts of East Meadow provided desserts for all participants; Cowbay Construction provided beverages; Mineola Trophy and Awards; Anton Newspapers.  


—Christy Hinko contributed to this article.