Virtual Enterprise prepares for state competition after successful showing at regions


Constance Paris, Jackson Looney, Kaili Ajamie, Beckett Anderson, and Emma Mañalac deliver a business plan for their video game Nakama at last week’s state competition.

Emma Kate Poole, News Editor

Bearden’s Virtual Enterprise, showcasing their video game Nakama, won the East Tennessee regional business plan competition last week with a successful presentation.

Going into this competition, Virtual Enterprise prepared through continuous practice of their presentation.

“The most important thing that we did to prepare for the … competition is practice, practice, practice,” CEO senior Constance Paris said. “We practiced in front of Ms. (Lee Ann) Wright’s speech class, in front of several business teachers, in front of our peers, and in front of the mirror to be as prepared as possible.”

The students are now preparing for Thursday’s state competition, where they can qualify for nationals.

Last week’s competition was a success, but it did not come without its challenges.

“First of all, with the Covid guidelines, we faced the possibility that a team member could get quarantined which would take them out of the competition,” said senior Emma Mañalac, the company’s website designer and social media manager. “Secondly, because of VE scheduling, our competition got pushed back multiple times, which delayed our presentation and slightly disoriented our plans.”

Added junior Kaili Ajamie: “An obstacle that we faced was that sometimes when we needed to change slides for our PowerPoint, it wouldn’t change due to internet issues. We were hoping that when we were presenting it wouldn’t cut out during the actual competition, but it all worked out in the end.” 

Even with these challenges, this year’s Virtual Enterprise stands out from other Virtual Enterprise businesses across the country in this competition due to their product being tangible instead of being purely hypothetical.

“We drastically stand out because most firms only create an imaginary product because VEI limits how product distribution is done,” Mañalac said. “However, we were able to get around these limitations with a video game that consumers can actually play after purchase.”

Another contribution to their success in this competition is the student talent and opportunities at Bearden.

“Bearden has various graphic design, coding, and business classes that separate us from other schools that do not have these advanced programs,” Paris said. “With computer programmers, talented graphic artists, and brilliant business minds, Nakama is the product of talented students with amazing opportunities to expand our skills.”