Vote now to advance district students in entrepreneurship competition


Three Dallas ISD students from W.E. Greiner Middle School will present their invention, the “Robo Buddy,” before a national audience at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge October 9 in Silicon Valley.

The invention is a robotic, interactive pet that teaches kids responsibility through an app that allows parents to monitor how actively their children are caring for their “pets.” The entry from Greiner is the only project from Dallas ISD that is advancing to the national-level competition. At stake is $25,000 in prize money the students can use as seed cash for their business or for college tuition.

Before the students make the trek to Silicon Valley, they will have an opportunity to win $2500 through the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s Elevator Pitch Challenge, which gives students 60 seconds to sell their idea to the world via an online elevator pitch.

Supporters can view and vote for the Greiner elevator pitch through Monday, October 6, at

The nominee that earns the most unique votes from the general public will win its inventors an award of $2,500 toward advancing their education or getting their business off the ground. The winner will be announced at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge where the Greiner trio will showcase their Robo Buddy invention.

Students Amalia Lara, Jorge Ramirez and Melissa Gurrusquieta developed the concept and business plan, and entered the competition in teacher Stephen Thomas’ Principles of Business, Marketing, & Finance class.

Thomas said the students gained practical experience from their involvement in the entrepreneurship challenge and creating a business plan for an innovative product of their own invention. “The business plan includes discovering a problem and creating a business solution to the problem,” said Thomas.

In preparation for the national competition, the students were asked to create financial projections, marketing plans, and a presentation. They will discuss these in an 8 1/2 minute presentation to a panel of business professionals followed by an intense 3 1/2 minute Q&A from the panel.

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