Connect Books Won NECINA’s YES 6.0 Business Plan Contest

By David Li,

Chelmsford, Mass. – The results of YES (Youth Entrepreneurship Service) program 6.0 was announced at New England Chinese Information & Network Association (NECINA)’s annual meeting at Radisson hotel. Connect Books, a team consisted of local high-school students Stephanie Chan, Eddy Zhong and Kevin Zhang, won the first prize, and Vital Communications finished in second place.

Joseph Perry (right) congratulates Eddy Zhong (middle) and Kevin Zhang.

YES 6.0 program hosted final business plan contest at IBM’s Innovation Center in Waltham on March 17. Two final teams of young students presented their plans, and answered questions from four judges and from roughly 30 attendees.

Joseph Perry, IBM Regional Innovation Center Manager for the North American Eastern Region, made the announcement at NECINA’s annual meeting, and congratulated the winning team for their innovative ideas for solve a real problem. He also presented a check of $1,200 to Eddy Zhong and Kevin Zhang. Stephanie Chan, an 11th grader of Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, was taking SAT on that day, and arrived to the hotel with her parents about 40 minutes after the award ceremony.

(From left)Daryl Luk, Stephanie Chan, and Mr. and Mrs. Kwok Ho Chan.

Eddy Zhong of Bromfield High School and Kevin Zhang of Westford Academy made brief speeches thanking NECINA and IBM for providing them with training that enabled them to come with the business plan. “We worked as a team, and thought as a team. You don’t have to be the first, but you must be the best. There are e-books by Apple and Amazon. We just make it better,” said Eddy Zhong.

The Connect Books were designed for the school environment for reading textbooks. You won’t find common features like maps and games that are commonplace on Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle. The end result is that the cost is lower for Connect Books, than other e-books. There will be less distractions with Connect Books, which pleased many teachers.

The YES (Youth Entrepreneurship Service) Program 6.0 is organized by NECINA and IBM. According to its director Daryl Luk, a board member of NECINA, It’s a free program for high school and undergraduate students to enter the world of real business.

From the 10-class program, students learn to work in teams, develop business ideas and participate in a business plan contest. The program will cover Business Plans, Product Conceptualization, Company Structure, Finance, Sales and Marketing, Public Speaking and Presentation skills. Each class will feature a distinguished speaker and an exciting instructor to show students how skills learned can be applied in the real world. Winners will have cash scholarship and possible internship opportunities in big firms or corporate.

Related reports:
Quick Notes and Pictures from NECINA 2012 Annual Meeting
Getting Down to the Business of Business – Best Investment You Can Make with $15


Bio. of Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Regional Innovation Center Manager for the North American Eastern Region and Canada for IBM’s ISV & Developer Relations. Joe has extensive experience with Internet technology and with business consulting. Joe currently is a Ph.D. candidate in the Law, Policy & Society Program at Northeastern University, where he also is an instructor in the on-line MBA program. He has experience working with Fortune 100 clients. Joe’s areas of expertise include Internet privacy, health care technologies and policy, and networked communications. He holds an M.B.A. (concentration in technology) from Northeastern University and a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Students from the following schools signed up for this year program:

Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
Bedford High School
Boston Latin School
Bowen School
BU Academy
Chelmsford High School
Framingham High School
Groton Dunstable High School
Lexington high School
Nashua High School South
Needham High School
Roxbury Latin School
Sharon High School
The Bromfield School
University of Pennsylvania
Wayland High
Westford Academy
Winchester High School

The business plan winners are:
First Prize Winner: Connect Books
Stephanie Chan, Eddy Zhong, Kevin Zhang

Runner-Up Winner: Vital Communication
Arpitha Hayes, Dana Cochrane

Best Presentation Award: Next Step
Cameron Wang, Sagar V Chitalia

Best Idea Award: Catered Solutions
Yung-Fu Fung, Jianing Liu