Seniors Sunny Lu and William Du traveled to Wilmington, Delaware, to compete in the semi-final round of the Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs against 11 other high school teams. The result was a first place finish as 6 judges selected their business plan and investment presentation over the other teams. The Diamond Challenge is in its second year and is supported by the Horn School of Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical and Community College. These students as well as others competed throughout the State of Delaware over the last two weeks in semi-final competitions to qualify for the finals at the University of Delaware on April 28, 2014, for a first prize of $25,000 to start their new business.
The John Carroll students impressed the judges in three important areas: the feasibility of their Business Model, a well- constructed written business plan and a compelling presentation in front of serial entrepreneur investors. William Du and Sunny Lu are international students from China who came to John Carroll two years ago. Their goal was to experience all aspects of the high school program at John Carroll, and to strengthen their academic position to enter U.S. colleges after graduating.
Du has also kept an eye on business opportunities along the journey. His Entrepreneur Coach Larry Dukes states, “William approached me about the Diamond Challenge through his senior project advisor Mrs. Louise Geczy. He had several solid ideas that seemed viable and he had done extensive research to make his case. After reviewing several we settled on the current business plan because both students had lived the experience.” Their company, Love Delivery, LLC, was conceived. At the center of the students’ business model is the delivery of personal items and gift packages from home to international students studying in the U.S.
“Sunny Lu is my perfect business partner. She complements my thinking regarding the profitability by creating an emotional appeal. Mrs. Geczy and Sunny came up with the company name. Sunny understands exactly what the Chinese students in the U.S. and their families appreciate. She constructed a great set of gift packages and the components of a website to order them. We also allow the families to see the delivery video,” commented Du. The judges approved and awarded Love Delivery the highest scores of the competition.
While several colleges offer gift packages to students during exams, for birthdays and for other special occasions, none cater to the ever-growing international population. Elated with the accomplishment of her students, John Carroll Principal Madelyn Ball commented, “This is what our international program is all about – our students learn about each other, understand how the world can be a better place and build solutions to make a difference. William and Sunny are examples of what it means to grow in several ways in line with our mission statement. We are proud of their success in this round and are confident that they will find success in their business.”