Fourth Annual Business Plan Competition

The Scott Army Center for Entrepreneurship is proud to announce that the keynote speaker for the 2018 Business Plan Competition is Mr. Paul Salem '81. 

This year's competititon will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 6:30 PM in the Robert R. Jay Performing Arts Center. 

2018 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

Pioneering students, alumni, and parents are invited to submit business ideas for competition in their respective categories, with the objective to share ideas and establish networking connections within our community. Business plans will be judged by a panel of judges. The top three plans, selected from the submissions will present in front of the judges, who will select winners based on quality of plan and presentations on the Business Plan Competition “pitch day” on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Jay Center for Performing Arts.  All pioneers are welcome to submit ideas and business plans and participate in the presentation day! For more information, contact Chris Benestad, Entrepreneurial Studies teacher and Entrepreneurship Club moderator at entrepreneurship@stjohnshigh.org.

Submissions are due to Mr. Chris Benestad by Friday, March 9, 2018. Business plans can be emailed or dropped off in room 107 of Conal Hall. 

This is the 4th Annual Business Plan Competition. Last year, the keynote speaker was Mr. Dan Kenary '78 and Founder of Harpoon Brewery in Boston, MA. 

The Scott Army Center for Entrepreneurship

Saint John’s High School is embracing the entrepreneurial spirit that has long been present in students and alumni. Whether in starting businesses, fostering creative ideas, establishing strong relationships, or simply embracing opportunities, Saint John’s Pioneers have exemplified entrepreneurship in all walks of life.

Through the Entrepreneurial Studies course and Entrepreneurship Club, students and alumni are coming together to share ideas. The Entrepreneurship Club is open to all interested students and meets after school weekly as a supplement to the class. Students can hear from alumni speakers who share their stories of business ventures and their professional paths after Saint John’s.

Basics 
The Saint John’s Entrepreneurship Club (EClub) educates our students about Entrepreneurship as a possible career direction. The club relies on the ongoing participation of a core group of alumni to be successful. These alums bring their experience in creating or building businesses back Saint John’s, and share their stories with the club. 

Why the club exists 
The Entrepreneurship Club was created out of the realization that many students may not have exposure to the concept of entrepreneurship, or see it as a possible career path. The intent of the club is to provide information and coaching about entrepreneurship, such that students understand what it takes to create a business, and what is possible in their lives out of doing so. 

How the club works 
Once a month, a speaker comes to Saint John’s and tells the club about their experience in business. These talks last about 45 minutes, and are highly interactive with the students. The students reap great value by hearing success stories from people who once sat in the seats of Saint John’s just as they do. Underlying their own story, speakers intend to convey what is possible in life for someone who takes on creating a business. Self-reliance, freedom, independence, and the idea of creating vs. consuming employment opportunities are common themes. In between guest speakers, the club meets monthly to discuss what they’ve heard from speakers, and determine if there are particular types of speakers they’d like to invite to speak. 

Who participates 
Students who participate in the club have a wide variety of backgrounds. Some already have small businesses of their own; others have nothing more than a keen interest in learning more about what it means to be an entrepreneur. 

Alumni participation opportunity 
Alumni who participate in the EClub create an opportunity for themselves to truly make a difference in the lives of Saint John’s students. Out of sharing their experiences, they inspire students and show them the doors to a world that goes beyond what they otherwise might have seen as possible for themselves. Contact Chris Benestad to learn more about working with today's entrepreneurial students.

Business Plan Competition and EClub FAQs

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: When is the Business Plan Competition?

    The date for the fourth annual SJ Business Plan Competition is Tuesday, March 27th, at 6:30pm in the Jay Center for Performing Arts.  The original date of February 13th 2018 has been changed to accomodate this year's guest speaker.  This year's Keynote speaker is Mr. Paul Salem, class of 1981. 
  • Q: How do I submit my idea or business plan?

    To Apply, submit your Business Plan by March 9, 2018 to Mr. Christopher Benestad at entrepreneurship@stjohnshigh.org. Your plan will be reviewed and the top selections will be invited to compete in front of a panel of judges and an audience. Finalists will be announced on March 15th.  The top three plans will present at the Business Plan Competition on March 27th. 
  • Q: How will I know if my plan is accepted to present?

    Those with pitches that will be invited to compete will be notified by March 15, 2018. 
  • Q: Can I still present my plan and network with other SJ entrepreneurs if my plan is not selected for presentation?

    All applicants with complete business plan submissions are invited to attend the event and watch the other participants and listen to the guest speaker. 
  • Q: What business plans were presented at the 2017 competition?

    Dillon Benison '17: Easy Park App
    Calvin Corrigan '20: My Ties Bow Ties
    John-Henry Hendley '17: Super Shakes
    Ryan Malone '17: Fantasy High School Sports
    Dawson Ritchie '17: Bow to Stern Boac Cleaning
    Kevin Sweeney ' 17: Wachusett Bike Park
  • Q: How can I judge the Business Plan Competition?

    Contact Faculty Advisor Chris Benestad at cbenestad@stjohnshigh.org with any questions about participating as a judge.
  • Q: How can I participate in the EClub as an alumnus?

    The time commitment for alumni participants is small; the effect of their participation is immeasurable. We ask that alumni participants come to Saint John’s and share their own story with the club no more than once a year, which requires minimal preparation and about an hour with the club. In addition, we request participation in an annual meeting of the alumni who participate in the club, which lasts about two hours. This meeting is an opportunity for the alumni who participate to get together, discuss their experiences with the club, and determine what actions should be taken over the next year to have the club fulfill on its intention as effectively as possible. Lastly, some alumni choose to offer coaching (via phone or email) to the students in the club, on an ad hoc basis. Contact Chris Benestad to get involved.

One-on-one with Scott Army ’01

Originally from Sutton, MA, Scott moved to New York City after graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business with a double major in Finance and International Business in 2005. Scott worked for J.P. Morgan as a trader and Executive Director and currently Co-Founder of Wave Technologies, LLC.

SJ: How did your time at SJ influence your professional life? 
SA: I think Saint John’s is many things to many different people, but I found the value system that was instilled at every level of the school to be something that I have carried with me my whole life. It, of course, started with my mother and father, but SJ built upon that solid foundation and drove home the need to be a respectful, confident, gracious, and self-aware gentleman. It has allowed me to stay grounded and evaluate both successes and failures, personal and professional, through the proper lens. 

Describe just how diverse and holistic this Entrepreneurship Program can be in planting the seeds of creativity and leadership for students to take into their lives long after Saint John’s. 
Entrepreneurship can mean so many things and I want this program to explore and highlight the many different facets of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship, I believe, at its heart, is about empowerment of the individual to go out and to make a difference in the world. It is about opportunity, risk, possibility, innovation, and progress. It is about saying "I can make a difference" and going out and executing. It can be grand or small, white collar or blue collar. Our history books are full of entrepreneurs, including the founding fathers of the United States. Entrepreneurship can, of course, be economic, but it can also be social, political, or simply about a new way of thinking. It is so much more than just that tech startup you read about in the paper. There are entrepreneurs all around us, starting small businesses or volunteer groups every day. My hope is that this program will make SJ students aware of the possibilities in front of them by embracing an entrepreneurial mindset in life and the sense of purpose, self-worth, and individual empowerment that comes with that.

Why do you think it is an important endeavor for Saint John’s to begin developing students’ entrepreneurial skills?
I think it is important to teach the roadmap of starting a business or any organization at a young age. These are real, valuable life skills. Learning about the broader applications of entrepreneurship will also be instrumental to those students who choose to pursue a career in a larger corporation or organization, as the ability to innovate and think creatively and independently will set them apart. The class will provide the foundation of the entrepreneurial principles and spirit. Going back to the value system, it will also attempt to provide the proper lens to evaluate goals beyond monetary success. Once this foundation is set, the Entrepreneurship Day will be the opportunity to showcase our way of thinking with the rest of the SJ community and beyond. It will also provide a real-life testing ground for ideas and businesses through the pitch competition.

Who in the Saint John’s community is this program open to?
The Entrepreneurship program will be something that many people in the SJ community can identify with personally and as a result they will be very eager to become a part of it. Saint John’s did a great job of driving home the belief that “wherever you go, you'll find a Pioneer,” showing the reach of the alumni. The program will take that one step further to highlight some great success stories of alumni in all walks of life, and in doing that, it will provide a model for future students to aspire to and replicate. “In harmony small things grow.” We can now see some of the results of that growth.

Get involved!

Mr. Chris Benestad • Faculty Advisor
entrepreneurship@stjohnshigh.org

Special Thanks to this year's guest speakers:

Mr. Henry Camosse, Camosse Masonry Supply
Mr. John Andreoli, Sullivan Group
Dr. Mark Baril, Voltage Test Prep
Mr. Ron Lombard P '13, '16
Mr. Rory, O'Connor, Ovuline
Mr. Mike Covino, Niche Hospitality
Mr. Mark Komanecky, P '11
Mr. Sean Cutting, '05 Cutting Edge Homes
Mr. Bill Haylon
Mr. David Spondorpher, Janji Running Clothes
Mr. Dan Kenary, Harpoon Brewery
Mr. James McGillycuddy, Sourcegraph
Mr. Nick Candito, Progressly
Mr. Ed Hardy, Central Rock Gym
Mr. Steven Ward, Public Health Solutions
Mrs. Ann Manion, AnnManion.com
Mr. Craig Piekarz, P '13 Boston Logix Inc.

In the News

2016 Business Plan Competition

2016 Business Plan Pitch Day

2015 Business Plan Competition

2015 Business Plan Competition
"Entrepreneurship, I believe, at its heart, is about empowerment of the individual to go out and to make a difference in the world. It is about opportunity, risk, possibility, innovation, and progress...  It can be grand or small, white collar or blue collar.  Entrepreneurship can, of course, be economic, but it can also be social, political, or simply about a new way of thinking.  It is so much more than just that tech startup you read about in the paper... There are entrepreneurs all around us, starting small businesses or volunteer groups every day.” 

- Scott Army '01