The secret key to top business schools — Columbia Model Entrepreneur Competition

As a high schooler, have you ever considered starting your own business in the future?

If that idea ever crossed your mind but you’re not sure where to start, business competitions might be a great opportunity. These fun, challenging contests will not only provide rich ground to nurture your ideas, but also gives you an extra edge in terms of college admission.

First, let’s check out some intriguing student business ideas…

1:Ambrosiia Team (from a Chinese International School)

The business idea of the Ambrosiia Team is a customized subscription-based snack box. Its promotional video uses a boy who’s a picky eater and a girl on a diet as examples to show the advantages and selling points of the product.

2: PCK team (from Shanghai American School)

The promotional video of the PCK team starts with a scene in a real grocery market, explaining the reasons why no one buys vegetables in farmers’ markets anymore, and then introduces “Pck”, an app for transporting farm vegetables. This app makes users feel they have a local farmers’ market inside their pockets.

3: The Bodyguards Team (from Taipei Fuhsing Private School)

The Bodyguards team focuses on the elderly. The app has multiple functions such as scheduling, medical equipment monitoring, health index monitoring and games. It can remind users of appointments at any time and provide gamified mental exercise. The promotional video starts with an elderly mother calling her son as she forgets things. The humor and affection were perfectly integrated within the application scenarios for this smart big data product.

It is not hard to see that the business ideas of these winning teams are from people’s daily life. They all

  • found a target group and a usage scenario
  • found a feasible business model to solve customers’ needs
  • Used interesting and warm-hearted methods for advertising

Sounds interesting? These ideas won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the Model Entrepreneur Competition (MEC)

Wait, what is the MEC?

Model Entrepreneur Competition (MEC) is a global competition hosted by Columbia Business School’s Venture for All®, with the goal to encourage young talents to stand out from pure imagination and speak out innovative ideas with business feasibility.

The first MEC was held in 2014. After six years of development and with the reputation of Columbia Business school itself, MEC has become an extremely influential business competition for high school students.

For those who want to apply for a top-notch business school, this competition is undoubtedly a bonus for the admission process. If your ultimate goal is Columbia Business School, then this competition could be a secret weapon.

Unlike any other business competitions, ME participants will receive proper guidance and suggestions on their business models from Columbia Business School and VFA Clubs across the globe. Participants will also receive various amounts of scholarships to attend official programs at Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Caltech, Berkley, and Pratt, to further enhance their entrepreneurship skills.

How can I participate?

MEC so far has two competition editions — the Asia Edition (Mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan), and the North America Edition (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York).

It has two runs. In the preliminary run, each participating group, normally consisting of 5–8 students, needs to submit a business plan online. In the second run, each admitted group needs to submit both the business plan and a presentation video and will be invited to participate in an onsite business challenge.

If you are also someone who’s good at observing life and often bursts out new ideas that could potentially change people’s life and better serve our society, then competitions like the MEC will definitely be a rewarding experience for you.

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