PALMER – Three juniors from Pathfinder Regional Technical High School have found a way to tackle the massive entertainment industry. Their new business plan is so groundbreaking that they placed fifth in a nationwide competition with other students who came up with new business ideas themselves.
Eatertainment is a dining experience that includes food and other activities like bowling or music. Morgan Tourigny, Hannah Maki and Kiara Diaz have imagined a place to eat that also allows customers to practice international sports.
“We noticed how popular the Olympics are around the world, so we decided on an international theme. We looked at our competitors and found that they were heavily focused on arcade games and video games, so we went in another direction,” Tourigny said.
The girls named their business Global Games. In keeping with their Olympic theme, the juniors created a business and marketing plan that included leasing space in a dining hall to food vendors who would offer international cuisine. Global Games would also give guests the opportunity to play sports from different cultures in an arena-style setting.
“We wanted to take audiences away from video games and into the real world. We focus on physical activities that require movement rather than video games and controllers,” Tourigny said.
Business Professionals of America sponsored this national leadership competition. Team Pathfinder took second place among 20 other teams in the Massachusetts competition. That performance was good enough to earn them a spot at the national meet in Dallas last month. The juniors took fifth place among 65 teams.
The girls gave a 10-minute presentation to a panel of judges who asked tough follow-up questions, forcing the trio to defend their business model and marketing plan. They did their entire presentation and answered the questions without using notes, which were banned from the contest.
“I’m sure they memorized this in their sleep,” said Amy Skowyra, who is the girls’ teacher in the business technology department. “Everything has to be so precise at national championships. You can’t mess up. It’s very competitive,” she continued.
Skowyra said she was thrilled to see her team on stage receiving their medals.
“I wasn’t surprised the girls did so well because they worked so hard. They would come home almost every night and rehearse their lines. They worked really well as a team and did everything with enough time to review and refine their plan and presentation. They were very professional,” Skowyra said.
Even though the girls were convinced they would do well, there were butterflies and nervousness as they presented themselves in front of the judges.
“It was a big leap between Massachusetts and Texas. There was a little stress, but we had been working on it for so long and doing so much research that we nailed down the script precisely,” Tourigny said.
Skowyra described the girls as studious, always getting their work done on time. She said they did whatever she asked and gladly incorporated feedback to improve their work. This plan served them well as they took their new business to the national stage.