High school entrepreneur wins full scholarship to Rider
A group of 10 high school entrepreneurs showcased their business ideas in front of a panel of three executive-level judges in the Shark Tank-esque Norm Brodsky Idea/Business Concept Competition at Rider University on Jan. 17. Aniruddha Srinivasan, a senior from Metuchen High School, was awarded a full four-year scholarship to Rider University for his business idea.
"I had an incredible experience presenting my business in front of a group of people who really cared about entrepreneurship," Srinivasan says. "I thank Rider University and Norm Brodsky for providing me with this fantastic opportunity. It was a great honor to win the big award."
Srinivasan's business concept is a tourism mobile app, which he dubbed "the Uber of tourist services." The app's goal is to connect tourists with local residents to facilitate a true cultural experience without the fear of a language or cultural barrier. Srinivasan envisions tour guides registering themselves on the app and providing their language abilities, knowledge of a particular area and tour price. Tourists would then be able to search for guides based on these various factors. Named Omamori, the Japanese word for amulet, the app is a work in progress and Srinivasan hopes to launch it in Japan.
The competition was made possible through the generous support of alumnus Norm Brodsky ’64.
"I was most happy to see that the next generation of young men and women have such great ideas and passion," Brodksy says about the evening's competitors. "Their enthusiasm and passion shone through. You could feel their excitement as they presented."
The event is a new edition of the College of Business Administration's (CBA) NJ High School Business Concept Competition. This year's competition was open to high school students anywhere in the world. Applicants were required to submit a brief summary of their business concept, which was reviewed by a group of judges before the 10 finalists were selected.
For the live presentations, students were split into two divisions — the Sophomore/Junior Competition and the Senior Competition. Each student was given four minutes to present and four minutes to answers the judges' questions.
In addition to the senior winner receiving a full scholarship, cash prizes were awarded to the top two students in the Sophomore/Junior Competition. All participants were also invited to attend BRONC Tank Academy, a summer pre-college experience to explore entrepreneurship at the college-level.
Dr. Ron Cook, associate dean of CBA's graduate programs and an entrepreneurial studies professor, thought all the presenters had well-developed business ideas and would have promising careers ahead of them.
"What amazes me most was not only how creative all the students were, but their poise at only 16 or 17 years old as they presented in front of the judges," Cook says. "Regardless of their finish at the live finale, these students were really the cream of the crop."