Hudson -- Two teams who represented the Hudson High School Business Club March 21 combined as one to take a bite out of the competition and brought home the first place title in the Shark Tank portion of the Junior Achievement Titan Challenge.

The two teams were made up of Brandon Collins, Ben Grimaldi, Nick Norville, Annie O'Brien, Scott Snyder and Patrick Stepanek.

The teams finished third overall, behind Hoban and Wooster high schools in the Titan Challenge and second place, behind Highland Sparta High School, in the consolation round.

"As advisor of the Hudson High School Business Club, I am very proud of our two teams that represented Hudson High School in the 2014 Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge," Betty Banks-Burke, the team advisor and high school business teacher, said. "After three months of Thursday evening practices, our team of Brandon Collins, 10th grade; Ben Grimaldi, 10th grade; and Patrick Stepanek, 11th grade, placed third in the final event. Each member received personal checks from Junior Achievement, copies of an entrepreneurship book and the third-place trophy."

The team of Nick Norville, 10th grade; Anne O'Brien, 11th grader; and Scott Snyder, 10th grade, made it to the consolation round where they placed second, Banks-Burke added. Each member received a gift card to Chipotle.

"For the first time, Junior Achievement also held a JA Entrepreneur Tank," Banks-Burke said. "Each school's entire team was responsible for creating an entrepreneurial venture and giving a five-minute pitch to a team of judges. Our HHS six-member team came in first place. The team developed a logo, prototype and motto for the Ski Board -- a pair of skis that transition into a snow board."

The teams were challenged to match business skills with competitors by making online quarterly decisions on price, production, marketing, capital investment and research and development by using the JA Titan online interactive business simulation, according to JA. Volunteer mentors from local corporations were paired with teams to provide guidance as the students worked to outperform the competition in profit, sales and market share.

Teams presented business plans to secure funding for the launch of a new product created to fill a need within the current market for the Shark Tank portion. Students presented their business strategies to a panel made up of local business professionals which included: Amy Buehner of The Goodyear Rubber and Tire Company, Bryant Henson of Lockheed Martin and Dominic Rizzo of The Rubber City Radio Group.

"I had the pleasure of attending the competition and am very proud of our student competitors," according to High School Principal Brian Wilch. "They represented Hudson High School and our community very well; dressed in suits/professional attire and obviously well-prepared, they looked and acted the part."

Wilch was not surprised the teams placed so high, he said.

"They were so articulate and their high level of preparation produced an outstanding presentation -- not to mention a great concept with the ski-board," Wilch added. "I also appreciate Betty's passion and focus to expose our students to meaningful, authentic, business-type activities that enhance their high school experience."


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