KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Bearden High School students won top honors in the national Virtual Enterprises competition.
The program gives students corporate-level experience inside the walls of a classroom. Students launched PlasTech in the fall. The virtual business provides plant-based water bottles that are chemical-free.
“PlasTech offers the world a non-toxic alternative to traditional plastic materials,” said Bradynn Belcher, the CEO.
Belcher and her teammates are in the school’s Virtual Enterprises program. It provides students with immersive business and entrepreneurial experiences.
“Create a business, come up with the product, create our mission statement, and then after that we start developing everything,” said Belcher.
The inspiration for PlasTech is personal to the team’s CEO. Belcher was recently diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, so they wanted to create a water bottle that eliminates toxins that could potentially aid various health problems.
“It makes it a real story to follow, and I think that’s also why her team follows her so well and works so hard for her because they know it is close to her heart,” said Jami Aylor, the VE facilitator.
In the months following the company’s launch, students entered their work into regional and state competitions before qualifying for finals in New York.
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Several of the team leaders believe with VE, you only get out of it what you put into it.
“I feel like it’s just a really wonderful experience to see if you really want to make it in business or be in business, or if it’s just not for you,” said Valencia Loi, the vice president of sales.
The students won first place in VE’s National Human Resources Competition and the Youth Business Summit Social Media Competition.