Project ECHO

300 Teens to Compete in 11th Annual High School Entrepreneur's Business Plan Competition at UCLA

Los Angeles based charity prepares teens for entrepreneurship through year long program


Santa Monica, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/06/2015 -- More than 300 high school students from across the Southland will compete in 11th annual Project ECHO High School Entrepreneur's Business Plan Competition on Sunday, April 12, 2015. This event follows the Semi-Finals event and is intended to provide Southern California high school students the opportunity to pitch their new business ventures to prominent members of the local business community who serve as volunteer venture capitalist judges. Winning teams are awarded cash start-up funds.

Project ECHO (Entrepreneurial Concepts Hands On!), established in 1996, has seen year over year growth in its year-round entrepreneurship program that is focused on providing high school students with in demand business skills. This year, more than 500 teens from 16 high schools formed more than 100 teams to compete in this 2-day competition.

"Project ECHO has evolved its program and competition platform to stay relevant to the teens participating in our year-long program," said Diane Quast, ECHO's Executive Director. "Students can compete for cash start-up funds in three categories of competition: Technology Based Business, Retail Based Business, and Growth Oriented Business. Our two-part evaluation process assesses the student teams' written business plan along with their formal pitch, which are weighted equally." A total of $6,250 will be awarded to seven teams, that will include an overall competition winner, and first, second and third place in each category of competition.

Project ECHO offers a hands-on year round program in business and entrepreneurship with the aim of providing teens from various socioeconomic backgrounds and academic achievement the opportunity to experience entrepreneurship. During their ECHO year, high school students are mentored by M.B.A. candidates from UCLA's Anderson School of Management. This is a collective attempt to provide students with useful skills in business that will positively influence their decision to continue their education beyond high school while opening doors for career opportunities. This year's competition further expands Project ECHO's reach by including Johanna Boss High School, a school for incarcerated juveniles in Central California.

Participating Schools:

- Alliance Renee & Meyer Luskin Academy High School
- Channel Islands High School
- Charter Oak High School
- Dorsey High School - School of Business and Entrepreneurship
- Ivy Academia Entrepreneurial Charter School
- Johanna Boss High School – CDCR Division of Juvenile Justice High School
- Long Beach Polytechnic High School:
- Center for International Curriculum
- Pacific Rim Business Academy
- Program of Additional Curricular Experiences (PACE)
- Los Angeles Big Picture High School
- Narbonne High School
- Palisades Charter High School
- Banning High School

- Sacred Heart High School
- Santa Barbara High School
- Santa Monica High School

The two-day Business Plan Competition is hosted at UCLA by the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and UCLA Anderson School of Management. This event is open to the public. For more information, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, call Project ECHO at (424) 238-1884.

About Project ECHO
Project ECHO, a non-profit organization established in 1996, offers a free and unique entrepreneurial learning experience to at-risk students with the goal of keeping youth engaged in school beyond high school. The year round program includes business boot camps, a formal curriculum in entrepreneurial studies and its annual business plan competition. The program provides students with relevant skills in Excel/financial planning and analysis, market research, traditional and social media marketing, business writing, oral presentation skills, and much more. ECHO collaborates with high schools and provides their teachers with the training to teach the program to their students, in their classrooms.

For more information about Project ECHO, please visit

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
Founded in the depth of the Great Depression, UCLA Anderson School of Management now ranks among the top-tier business schools in the world. An award-winning faculty renowned for research and teaching, highly selective admissions, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning environment in the heart of Southern California. Anderson M.B.A. candidates partner with ECHO by volunteering to serve as mentors to the hundreds of high school students who participate every year.

For further information regarding UCLA Anderson School of Management visit

Diane Quast, Executive Director
1437 6th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel.: (310) 251-8636
Fax: (310) 818-5500