Author Archives: yepadmin

High School Students Start Video Game Tournament Hosting Business

Category : News

Aaron Estrada and Victor Cruz, seniors at High Tech High Chula Vista and San Diego Center for International Trade Development (CITD) YEP participants, recently launched a video game tournament hosting business. Seniors at High Tech High are required to complete a “Senior Project”, which is the culmination of the students’ personalized academic endeavors. Students are encouraged to select projects that are in harmony with their personal goals and interests. Aaron and Victor, who were both interested in entrepreneurship, decided they wanted to start a business around their affinity for gaming as their senior project. Their senior project advisor, who was familiar with YEP, recommended they enroll in the program and take the online business training to learn how to start the business and write a business plan. After completing all lessons of the online business training, Aaron and Victor wrote a business plan for a video game tournament hosting business they named Green Mist Gaming. Their business model consists of hosting video game tournaments for teams of players of popular role playing and combat strategy video games. Green Mist Gaming charges a fee to players to enter the tournament and also sells food and refreshment. Cash prizes are given to the winning teams. Since they had already written the business plan for their senior project, they decided to use it to enter the YEP Business Plan Competition and their plan wasselected as one of the top three plans.

As part of the services available to them through YEP, Aaron and Victor were able to meet with a CITD Business Advisor and get assistance with fine tuning their business plan and discuss start-up specifics including permits and licenses needed, business legal structure, marketing, and more. The pair then launched their business shortly after and held their first tournament on May 25th at a venue in their high school that they were able to secure at no cost. Their first tournament was a success, hosting a tournament centered around the video game League of Legends. Aaron and Victor plan to pursue college degrees while continuing to work on growing their business.

Financial Education Week Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Business Plan Competition

Category : News

The Mexican Consulate in San Diego concluded its Financial Education Week program on Saturday with a closing event at the San Diego County Office of Education building in National City. The weeklong program, geared toward the hispanic community and coordinated by the consulate in collaboration with the City of National City, City of Chula Vista, and various community-based organizations, featured informational fairs and presentations throughout the county on financial literacy topics.  The program also included a 3-day Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp hosted at Alliant International University. Students from various high schools throughout the county received entrepreneurial training through a series of intensive business classes delivered by Alliant professors. The boot camp culminated in a business plan competition in which the students presented the business ideas they developed during the camp to a panel of judges for a chance to win scholarship money and an iPad. The panel of judges included Gabriel Reyes, YEP Coordinator; Valery Belloso, Business Development Officer with ACCION San Diego; Maria Kachadoorian, Finance Director – City of Chula Vista; Ernesto Arredondo, Regional President – Wells Fargo Bank; Luisa McCarthy, Director – La Vista Memorial Park; Zulema Maldonado, Realtor and Board Member – Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce; Miguel Angel Ma, Owner – The Steakhouse on Broadway; Andy Carey, Executive Director – US Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership; Joise Calderon, CEO – JLC Consultant Services; Juan Carlos Lopez, Owner – Rincon del Mar Restaurants. Three winners were selected and announced at the program’s closing event. However, all the students that completed the program walked away winners when Mr. Arredondo offered them employment with the bank, which includes tuition assistance as part of their benefits package.

The San Diego CITD Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) will be taking the winning students through the next phase of the implementation of their business plan. In this phase, the San Diego CITD will provide additional entrepreneurship training and mentoring geared toward helping these students fine tune their business plans and ultimately launch their businesses.

Fall 2012 YEP Business Plan Competition Winners

Category : News

Congratulations to the winners of the Fall 2012 YEP Business Plan Competition! The winning plans were submitted by Jo-Ann Dilay, Victor Cruz & Aaron Estrada, and Allison Bumatay.

Jo-Ann, a recent graduate from National University’s MBA Program, submitted a plan for a customize your own pizza restaurant concept and is currently seeking investment to get her business started.

Victor and Aaron, friends and avid video gamers, submitted a plan for a video game tournament hosting business. Victor and Aaron are already moving forward with their business idea and will be hosting their first tournament later this month.

Allison turned her interest in crafting and passion for art education into an idea for a business that will make hand-made custom journals using Scrabble® tiles. She plans on donating proceeds from her business to a non-profit organization that supports art education in elemetary schools.

Victor, Aaron, and Allison are all seniors at High Tech High Chula Vista.

In addition to the prize package offered through our regional competition, the winners have gained automatic entry into a statewide business plan competition where they will have a chance to win $5,000 in seed money. The YEP Spring 2013 Business Plan Competition is currently underway and the deadline to submits plans for this competition is April 17th.

YEP at the Career Pathways to Success Job Fair in National City

Category : News

The San Diego Center for International Trade Development’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) participated at the Career Pathways to Success Job Fair held in National City, California. The annual job fair, organized by the National City Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the City of National City, South County Business Services, and other community organizations, featured more than 50 exhibitors and over 1,400 employment opportunties. This year’s fair included a special section on self-employment, dubbed the “Entrepreneur Center”. Representatives from various business development organizations, including the San Diego CITD, Small Business Development Center, ACCION San Diego, SCORE, and others were on hand to provide information on resources and assistance available to potential and existing small business owners. YEP Coordinator, Gabriel Reyes, spoke with attendees about the free training and business counseling available to young entrepreneurs through YEP.

More than 800 job seekers and potential entrepreneurs attended the event, which was sponsored by American Medical Response.

YEP Hosts Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour

Category : News

The San Diego Center for International Trade Development’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program hosted a stop of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour (EET) on Friday with the Sweetwater Union High School District’s CTE/ROP Program at their San Ysidro High School campus. The EET brings the country’s top young entrepreneurs to help spread the entrepreneurial mindset during an inspirational high-energy conference. The event, attended by over 250 students from several high schools within the Sweetwater district, encouraged students to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas while also providing skills for building networks and obtaining resources. The event’s moderator, EJ Carrion, co-founder of theStudent Success Academy and best-selling author, provided practical and actionable information on how students can pursue their dreams and achieve success in business and in life. The event also featured a keynote talk by Aaron Steed, co-founder of MeatHead Movers. Aaron shared how he started his business while he was still in high school and built it into one of the most successful moving companies in California.

The interactive and entertaining style of the event kept the students engaged during the 2-hour event and they learned that’s it’s never too early to begin pursuing their dreams.

See more photos from the event here.

Article in the Union-Tribune about the event.

YEP Participates in San Diego Entrepreneur Day

Category : News

San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo and CITD Youth Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator, Gabriel Reyes participated in the San Diego Entrepreneur Day event held in Downtown San Diego. The goal of the event was to recognize San Diego’s entrepreneurs and business owners, and create a network of resources to promote entrepreneurship, networking and business growth throughout the county. The event featured over 130 exhibitors, including San Diego YEP, as well as business education workshops, an elevator pitch competition, and more. The event was supported at the local, state, and federal level and was kicked off with remarks from representatives from these agencies including the Office of Mayor Jerry Sanders, San Diego City Councilmen Todd Gloria and Kevin Faulconer, California State Senator Joel Anderson, and San Diego SBA District Director Ruben Garcia, among others.



Local Educators Receive Training on Teaching Entrepreneurship

Category : News

On August 9th, the San Diego Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) hosted a professional development workshop for educators from high schools, community colleges, and other youth-focused organizations. The workshop, facilitated by Dr. Carol Folbre, nationally certified expert in youth entrepreneurship, and Sandra Mittelsteadt, co-author of the Career Academy Toolkit and Sticky Learning, provided the participants with tools and strategies for teaching entrepreneurship skills that are essential for developing students with key skills for academic and workplace success.

Workshop participants were lead through a series of excercises designed for them to explore a problem-solving and project-based approach to teaching entrepreneurship skills. In one of the exercises, participants were assembled into groups of four people, each taking on a different role at various departments within a fictional soft drink company to decide how to best expand its product line. The departments were Corporate Citizenship, Finance, Marketing and Sales, and Production. Participants were provided with a packet of information about the company, its plans to add a new soft drink to its product lineup, and department specific goals. They were asked to have a department meeting with participants of other groups that were in the same role, as well as a company-wide meeting where there was a representative from each department to decide how to best produce, market, and profit from this new soft drink.

Each department head at the company-wide meetings advocated for their department’s specific goals until everyone reached a consensus. The groups then presented their plans for producing and selling the new soft drink. This exercise allowed participants to explore how students can learn to make decisions that take into account conflicting concerns and points of view within an organization.

The workshop also featured a lunch discussion with local young entrepeneurs and YEP participants Frank Golbeck of Golden Coast Mead, and Erika Calvert of Airshine Music. Frank and Erika shared their experience with running a business, talked about the skills they feel have contributed to their success, and discussed how they feel teachers can better prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The traditional method of teaching business concepts relies mostly on lectures and reading materials, which can make it difficult for students to really understand and retain those concepts. The problem-solving and project-based approach taught at this workshop provided these educators with a practical way to teach entrepreneurship concepts so students can understand the content much easier and retain the knowledge much longer through the use of activities that allow the students to experience these concepts first-hand.


To see additional photos from the workshop, click here.

Another Successful Mission Bay High School Shark Tank

Category : News

Mission Bay High School held its 2nd Biannual Shark Tank for its business students this week during two sessions on May 29th & 30th. The learning excercise, based on the popular ABC TV show of the same name, allows the school’s business students to experience and learn about finance, marketing, and management, using a real-world business situation. The premise of the show and this execercise is that budding entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of wealthy business people, called “Sharks”, in hopes of securing an investment in their company. Local business professionals Seth O’Byrne (, Vincent Lawrence (, Jasmine Guerrero (, and YEP Coordinator, Gabriel Reyes, were invited to play the role of the Sharks. The students (entrepreneurs) were paired up and given three weeks to come up with a business concept and basic business plan in preparation for the event. In contrast to the 1st Shark Tank held at the beginning of the year, this time around the students were asked to come up with innovative products to pitch to the Sharks instead of traditional businesses. The students were given 5 – 6 minutes to present their business idea and try to secure venture capital from the sharks in exchange for equity in their company. Some of the products presented included a Sandal/Shoe, GPS tracking for keys, a finger-held razor for barbers, and a mobile app to track school busses.

Kudos to Mission Bay High School Business Teacher, David West, and SDUSD Office of College and Career Technical Education representative Lori Williams for developing and coordinating this event.

Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Awards Ceremony and Resource Fair

Category : News

San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo and CITD Youth Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator, Gabriel Reyes participated in the Youth Entrepreneurship Program – Synthesized (YEPS) Boot Camp Awards Ceremony and Resource Fair, which was part of Financial Education Week. The San Diego CITD was a sponsor and helped coordinate the YEPS Boot Camp and Financial Education Week activities. A resource fair, featuring spanish-language workshops on various personal finance topics, was held prior to the awards ceremony. Representatives from various organizations, including the Mexican Consulate, Wells Fargo Bank, Accion San Diego, SDG&E, Comunidad Primero, Alliant International University, La Vista Memorial Park, New York Life, and others were on hand to provide information on their resources and services to attendees. The workshops and resource fair was held from 9 AM – 2 PM. The awards ceremony included remarks from Consul General of Mexico in San Diego Remedios Gomez Arnau, Mayor of National City Ron Morrison, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox,  and Assemblymember Ben Hueso among others about the importance of financial literacy and youth entrepreneurship. Also in attendance was Al Alvarado, a representative from Congressman Bob Filner’s office.

The student participants of the YEPS Boot Camp were all there eagerly waiting to learn who had won the boot camp’s business plan competition. The day before this event, 26 students from 11 local high schools including Sweetwater High, High Tech High San Diego, Point Loma High, Patrick Henry High, Hoover, Bonita Vista, Clairemont High, Julian High, Guajome Park Academy, Olympian, and Charter School of San Diego, presented their business plans to a panel of judges in hopes of winning one of three iPad 2 tablet computers and a $1,000 scholarship. Additional prizes were raffled off to event participants. The winning students were: 1st Place – Raul Escobar | The Charter School of San Diego, 2nd Place – Brandon Hernandez | Sweetwater High School, and 3rd Place – Sam Wisotsky | High Tech High Point Loma. Additionally, two students tied for 4th place, Ian Larson | Patrick Henry High and Mariana Meneses | Olympian High School.

The San Diego CITD Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) will be taking the award winning students through the next phase of the implementation of their business plan. In this phase, the San Diego CITD YEP will provide additional entrepreneurship training and mentoring geared toward helping these students fine tune their business plans and ultimately launch their businesses.

Click here to see additional photos from this event.

Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Business Plan Competition

Category : News

The International Youth Entrepreneurhsip Boot Camp Business Plan Competition, part of Financial Education Week, took place on Friday, March 16th at Alliant International University. YEP Coordinator, Gabriel Reyes, participated on the panel of judges, made up of business professionals from various companies and organizations througout the County, and listened to 26 presentations from the boot camp participants. The students were given seven minutes to present their business idea and three minutes to respond to questions from the judges. Business ideas included, restaurants, clothing made from bamboo fabric, an environmental law firm, mobile laser tag, a carbon-based water filter, a shrimp company, and an idea for putting television ads on public transportation. Presenters were rated on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest, for various catergories including professional presentation, competitive advantage, financials, and marketing, among others.

The winners of the competition will be annouced at the Financial Education Week closing event, Saturday, March 17th.