Five New Hyde Park Memorial High School students reigned supreme in last Wednesday’s sixth annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.
The challenge, held at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola, focused on a new theme this year – civic innovation.
The challenge was updated this year to judge teams in two categories: technology and social entrepreneurship.
The change allowed students of different backgrounds and passions an opportunity to get involved, Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman said in a news release.
Twenty-six teams of five students filled the executive roles of a start-up technology company or community-oriented nonprofit, and presented an organizational plan to a panel of judges.
The first place price in the technology category went to New Hyde Park’s Stormore team.
Dana Litterello, a senior who was the CEO and CFO of the winning Stormore company, said winning was a big relief.
“It felt so good because we knew that all of our hard work just paid off,” Litterello said.
The team had to come up with both a plan and a prototype of the product, Litterello said.
Stormore is a phone case that allows users to transfer storage directly from their phone to the case.
Another New Hyde Park team, the Bridge Program, won an honorable mention in the social entrepreneurship category.
Port Washington’s Paul D. Schreiber students, on the team Live Action, also received an honorable mention in the social entrepreneurship category.
The New Hyde Park students competing are part of the school’s academy of finance program.
Litterello said she made the decision to enter the program in eighth grade, and this year’s introduction to business class is the natural progression of the program.
Litterello will attend State University of New York College at Cortland next year and said she plans to major in business and minor in journalism.
She said the courses have been beneficial to her.
Zoe Delvecchio, the introduction to business teacher, said she’s proud to see her students win.
“It’s amazing seeing these young minds working to develop this and and just utilizing all the skills they’ve been taught and actually creating it,” Delvecchio said.
Experience isn’t all the students got out of the challenge.
The winning team won $1,400 in cash and various scholarships for its business idea, according to a Sewanhaka Central School District news release.
Participating in the challenge is also a great format for future leaders to follow, Schnirman said.
“Any young person can make a difference in their community and be a citizen superhero through civic innovation or social entrepreneurship,” Schnirman said.