By Ryan Connelly
For the second year, Rider is offering high school students around the nation a chance to compete for a full scholarship through the Norm Brodsky Idea/Business Concept Competition.
Seniors in high school who have ideas for thorough and well-thought-out ideas for business models are eligible for the scholarship.
This is the second year that Norm Brodsky ’64, a successful businessman and entrepreneur, is sponsoring the contest. Brodsky also writes about his successes and strategies in Inc Magazine with his popular column “Street Smarts.” He is also the author of “The Knack: How Street Smart Entrepreneurs Learn How to Handle Whatever Comes Up.”
Before Brodsky sponsored the contest, the top prizes were $1,000 cash and a $2,000 Rider scholarship.
In the 2018 competition, the senior winner was high school senior Aniruddha Srinivasan. He pitched Omamori, an app designed for tourists who travel around the world to get a full experience as if they lived there.
The app works off of two separate applications, one for the tourist and one for the provider. The tourist app has a feature on it for any sort of help one may need when visiting a foreign place.
An example Srinivasan used in his presentation was getting into a car accident. If that happens, this app can direct a call to someone who can help exchange insurance. The other part of the app is connecting with a tour guide who will assist customers in finding things they’d like to do while visiting.
Not only does the first place winner get a full scholarship to Rider, they also receive a plaque and a trophy for their school. The second and third place contestants also receive plaques for themselves.
“Unfortunately, the student who won last year did not come to Rider,”said Lisa Teach, the director for the center for entrepreneurial studies. “[It is] something we weren’t expecting, but we plan on offering the scholarship to a runner up should the scholarship recipient decide not to attend Rider.”
Although the students competing in the junior and sophomore division are not eligible to win the scholarship, there is a prize for them as well.
“The winner of the sophomore and junior division will win $750 and a plaque,” said Teach.
“In terms of going to college, I think this competition can encourage high schoolers to extend their education,” said junior entrepreneurship major Dinara Kasumova. “Personally, I am very interested in business and, if I had a great idea that got me a scholarship, or an invention I wanted to move forward with, I would want to learn more about entrepreneurship and how to make my business idea a reality.”
Students from any high school in North America are eligible to enter the contest. To qualify, students must submit a 400-word business idea and maintain a 2.5 GPA. On Rider’s website, students can find the rubric for what must be included in their 400-word description.
“A set of judges reviews all entries,” said Teach. “The top five entries in each division will be invited to present their business concept at Rider before a panel of judges. Scores will then be totaled to determine final placement.”
All applicants must have their forms submitted no later than Nov. 18.