Berkeley team are enterprising group
Strong finances, a global outlook and Bermudian pride helped a team of Berkeley Institute pupils reach the finals of an international virtual enterprise competition.
The Berkeley team finished in the top fifth at the Long Island Regionals in New York, organised by Virtual Enterprise International in February.
Now Seon Tatem, Robert Thomas, and Kyesja Jones, all 17, and Andreaz Glasgow, 15, will compete against teams from 40 other countries at the Youth Business Summit in New York next month.
Andreaz, the chief operating officer for Leisure in the Triangle, which sells island-branded goods such as bathing suits and lotions, said that the judges were impressed by the firm's ability to be successful without investors.
He said: “Our financials put us in a good place. We just took the $150,000 loan and managed that ourselves versus getting investors who would have a say in how our company is run — we had full control.
“Our chief financial officer Kyesja Jones did the ground work and I went over it with our mentors. Then we did a little tweaking to balance our accounts.
“What took us even further was our question and answer session. We executed the questions perfectly and the judges said themselves that they were amazed with us.”
The team was quizzed about any global conditions that could affect their business.
Andreaz said: “I answered by saying that the different trade agreements between the US, Canada and China affects Leisure in the Triangle drastically, simply because we have to import to Bermuda.”
The judges were also impressed with the team's description of Bermuda and the pride that they showed in the country.
Seon, the chief executive officer, said: “We made sure to explain why we founded our company, which was to give others a taste of Bermuda. We showed our Bermudian pride.
“We gave the judges background information on what our community looks like, how closely knit our community is and why we love our island.”
Robert, the chief administration officer, added: “It feels great to be a part of a group of intellectual people who want to advance themselves.
“It is really exciting and empowering to know that not all of our youth are involved in bad things or doing something antisocial.”
He added: “Going into the finals is really exciting. It not only makes me want to continue, it makes me want to inspire others to get into the class and start whatever they want to do.”
The virtual enterprise programme is run by Dawn Nichols Marshall, instructional team leader in the school's business department.
The Leisure in the Triangle team is raising funds to take the 21-strong virtual enterprises class to the New York summit and attend a trade show.
•Donations can be made to charity #111 at HSBC account #010-353-670-001