Virtual Enterprise prepares for new location for regional competition in Fort Lauderdale


Photo courtesy of Maddux Morse

Bearden’s VE class poses for a group shot at the MTSU Leadership Conference in the fall.

Virtual Enterprise is traveling to Fort Lauderdale for their Regional Trade Show, Business Plan Competition, and Finance Competition.

Mrs. Jami Aylor, the facilitator for this student-led business class, leads these students as they create a company.

“[The students] compete with other VE firms across the nation in things like Web Design, Branding, Video Commercials, Social Media, Finance, QuickBooks, Sales and Marketing, and Business Plan,” Aylor said. “Part of the process is creating their own firm.

“It’s a course that gives students as close as possible to an authentic business experience in high school as they can have.”

The class gives students the opportunity to excel in leadership roles and prepare for the real world. Along with being the only firm in Knox County, the Bearden VE program also creates a new company every year.

Each year, students enter the school year with no foundation for the year to come. This year’s firm, Scraps Clothing Co., is focused on “creating a better future, one scrap at a time,” by repurposing used textiles to create new T-shirts.

Going to Fort Lauderdale will be an important step in helping the firm place at the national level. In previous years, the regional competitions have taken place in Pigeon Forge, so Bearden students have not needed to travel to compete until this year. Madison Newman, the company’s Chief Administrative Officer, has taken a lead role in planning the trip.

Her job has been to organize the logistics of travel, including transportation details, reserving hotel rooms, and meals. She has also planned this trip so that the students will get to go to the beach and Urban Air in their free time. 

“I have had to purchase airline tickets and book a hotel for 16 people,” she said. “[I] made all the permission forms and itineraries, [have] reservations at all the restaurants we are going to go to, and lists of the bus stops.”

This trip to Fort Lauderdale will help prepare students for the national competition in New York City later in the year. This opportunity offers students a chance to gain valuable experience improving their public speaking and presentation skills. For both the Business Plan and Finance Competition, a panel of judges and industry experts will give feedback to the students. The work these students have been putting in this year all leads up to this presentation.

“We are doing everything we can to be prepared for that five-minute presentation,” Chief Design Officer Kenna Venard said. “It’s all year [we] are looking forward to these tradeshows and final competitions.

“I think it gives us a better look for how we will be set up. We get a generalized idea of how to present and how you feel presenting in front of real judges. Clear communication and practice presenting will help us in New York.”