Marian High School junior Christopher Rodriguez won first place and a cash prize of $500 in the Invention Convention Youth Business Plan Competition held recently at the University of Notre Dame. Rodriguez presented a plan for a customized car audio installation service.
Sponsored by Notre Dames Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in conjunction with the Robinson Community Learning Center, the competition is the culmination of a year-long program through which Notre Dame faculty and students teach business and entrepreneurship fundamentals to local high school youths.
Finalists are middle and high school students from the South Bend Community School Corp. and other local schools. Their ventures are judged on the feasibility of the idea and development of the plan. Notre Dame MBA and undergraduate students serve as mentors and event judges.
Rodriguez, 17, got the idea for his car audio business from work hes done installing systems for friends and family, and on his own car, which he calls hisgrand experiment.He got involved with the entrepreneurship program through a one-week training program offered in partnership with La Casa de Amistad, a local organization serving immigrants and their families in the community. Rodriguez plans to operate his business out of his home at first before expanding to the regional market.
The complete list of 2008 Invention Convention winners is as follows:
First Place ($500) – Christopher Rodriguez (Marian High School) for “Rodriguez Audio Specialists”
Second Place ($300) – Brandon Johnson (Clay High School) for “Straight Faded Barber Shop”
Third ($200) – Alexandra Soisson (John Adams High School) for “Planned Partyhood”
Best Presentation ($100) – Jonathan Brown (Clay High School) for “Creative Concierge Services”
Most Innovative Idea ($100) – Phyllis Johnson (Clay Middle School) for “Dance N’ Diamonds”
_ Contact: Jessica McManus Warnell, Mendoza College of Business, 574-631-9182.