Jefferson clubs hold first student business symposium


Photo by Carolyn Chheath

Senior Ani Chandrabhatla gives feedback on a team’s product.

On Friday May 1st, Jefferson’s three business clubs, TJ FBLA, Start-Up TJ, and Investment Club, held their first symposium and competition for students’ product ideas, VentureTJ. Groups were judged on the uniqueness, implementability, monetization strategies, and impact of their product. Juniors Srijith Poduval and Sahith Malyala won the $250 prize with their product idea GameChanger, an app that manipulates twitter data for polling and marketing purposes.

“Our project uses Twitter data and IBM’s Watson analytics to analyze sentiment in the Twittersphere, “ Malyala said. “The experience taught me how to limit the potential of a product to tailor it to a specific purpose, almost like a niche service.”

VentureTJ is a completely student-run event, with a panel of judges comprised of elected officials of the organizing clubs choosing the winner.

“Essentially we just want people to try to gain some experience about thinking of an idea, understanding where there’s a need in the market, and them being able to come out and talk kind of extemporaneously in front of people and judges and get practice fielding questions about their ideas,” senior and FBLA co-president Ani Chandrabhatla said.

Junior Pavan Reddy has been a member of Start-Up TJ since the beginning of the year. He and his three teammates formed Team ProCast, and they presented their idea, Focus Watch, a watch designed to keep the user awake.

“Most of the struggle is in finding an idea,” Reddy said. “Once you find the idea its a lot easier to start working on it.”

The competition showcased a lot of unique ideas to problems faced in everyday society.  Some students, however, doubted the achievability of the ideas presented.

“What I’ve seen so far is that people have ideas that are new but they don’t seem very implementable yet at the age that we are now, but definitely for the future they seem like they would make sense,” sophomore Shruti Ray said.

The audience and the presenters enjoyed this opportunity to hear about and present novel ideas within the Jefferson community.

“They’re coming together to create this competition,” sophomore Vishal Tandale said. “It’s the first time it’s ever been done.”