Seven high school students from all over Staten Island competed for a share of $5,000 to get their businesses off the ground in an event organized by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. NY1's Lisa Voyticki reports.
"I smell really bad," is how Gabrielle Garcia opened up her business pitch.
When you smell, she sells. It's a creative business pitch the 17-year-old thought of after she couldn't find an efficient way to clean her smelly hockey gloves.
"I developed a product called Stench Snipers which is a sports glove insert that deodorizes and removes bacteria from sweaty, smelly sports gloves," said Garcia.
She is one of seven Staten Island students in the middle of a 30-week after school program called the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.
It's run by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.
Wednesday night, on the stage of Staten Island Technical High School in New Dorp, the students presented their business plans to compete for a share of $5,000.
NY1's Anthony Pascale emceed the event that mirrors the hit TV show "Shark Tank."
A dozen businessmen and women from the island served as judges.
"Some of these kids are the smartest kids I've met in the past three years," siad Gerald Amerosi, Jr., Vice President of Gerald Peters and Pandora in the Staten Island Mall.
Teachers say this competitions is just one step in what they expect will be a long entrepreneurial career for these young minds.
"Gabi is amazing, she's going to be the CEO of a big company someday and it might not even be this product, it might be 10 products we don't know about," said Joseph Manzo, Assistant Principal at Staten Island Technical High School.
Gabrielle ended up winning the night's top prize: a chance to compete in the program's regional competition upstate in May.
Sixteen-year-old Daijana Pegues walked away with $500 for her business, Campus Compass.
It's an app to help match high school seniors with potential colleges, based on their SAT scores and major.
The sophomore already knows she wants to go to Texas A&M and study physical therapy.
"They actually helped me realize that when the time comes I can do physical therapy, but when I want to open up my own clinic, now I know how to do a business plan," said Pegues.
With business on their minds, it may not be long before you're buying a product created by one of these young entrepreneurs.