“Stay hungry, stay foolish.” This is what three Buchholz High School students are focusing on this year for the second annual Mind Your Own Business program.
Maria Vargas, senior and co-founder of the MYOB program, along with her teammates senior Jaydin Leslie and sophomore Wesley Lopez are putting on MYOB 2013. The theme “Stay hungry, stay foolish” encompasses the need for entrepreneurs to be hungry for success and unafraid to take risks.
The panel event will take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6th in the Buchholz High School Auditorium; local entrepreneurs and business leaders are expected to create an atmosphere of inspiration and motivation.
MYOB is designed to show people of all ages that entrepreneurs are average people who see a need and then dream of a way to fulfill it. They persevere through the many challenges they face because of their passion, support network, education and planning skills. MYOB shows people the behind-the-scenes of running a business and the true meaning of being an entrepreneur.
David Whitney, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the UF College of Engineering, will moderate the event.
Small businesses drive the U.S. economy by providing over half of the American workforce.
“As we prepare ourselves to become part of this workforce, it is important for us as students to realize that we have the potential to become entrepreneurs,” said Vargas. “We hope to strengthen the tie between the business community and students through the MYOB program.”
The MYOB program is made possible by the Academy of Entrepreneurship at Buchholz High School. The four-year program is headed by director Donna Martin and gives more than 300 Buchholz students the opportunity to pursue their passions and learn about entrepreneurship. Many of these students compete for district, state and international titles through the international business and marketing club DECA, affiliated with the national Distributive Education Clubs of America.
“DECA has truly opened my eyes to the world of entrepreneurship,” said Lopez. “As a freshman, competing internationally was an opportunity that changed my whole perspective, making what we are doing this year with MYOB even more important to me.”
DECA gives students the opportunity to begin working in the entrepreneurial world as early as their freshman year of high school.
“Involving underclassmen not only as project leaders, but also as committee members will allow MYOB to carry on each year, even as senior team members graduate,” said Austin Dale, a junior committee member who will join the MYOB team next year. “Our hope is that by creating a diverse yet cohesive team, MYOB will continue to evolve and improve each year.”
MYOB 2012 placed first at the DECA State Competition and third at the DECA International Competition in California last spring. This year, the team hopes to do even better in competition. They have already scheduled guest speakers and workshops leading up to the panel event and raised three times the amount of sponsorship money.
“I am overwhelmed by the support that the MYOB program has received and the generosity I have seen while securing sponsorships,” said Leslie, who helped on the 2012 committee and is this year’s sponsorship coordinator. “I am very excited to see how this event unfolds as I truly believe it will be beneficial to all who attend.“
Mind Your Own Business creates a tremendous opportunity for students to experience a piece of the business world, learn the benefits of being an entrepreneur, work with successful business leaders and establish connections that will last a lifetime.
MYOB 2013 Panel
This year’s panel includes Aidan Augustin, CEO and co-founder of Feathr; Byron Young, CEO and co-founder of CordaRoy’s; Rich Blaser, CEO and co-founder of Infinite Energy, Inc.; Valerie Sheehan, CEO of ToneRite Inc.; and Trevor Abbott, founder of Gator Innovators, Co-founder and CEO of Spin Chill and house manager of HackerHouse.
MYOB 2012 Panel
In 2012, MYOB featured entrepreneurs and business leaders including Abhi Lokesh from Fracture, Don Davis from Capital City Bank, Josh Greenberg from Gooveshark, Ken Block from Sister Hazel and Cymplify, and Kristin Hadeed from
Student Maid. Bill Dorman, entrepreneur in residence at Santa Fe College CIED Business Incubator, was the moderator.