SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ -  Twenty-two Somerset County students between the ages of 14 and 18 will participate in Somerset County Library System of New Jersey’s Teen Tycoons, an entrepreneurial competition, on Thursday, May 5, 7-9:30 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater.

The Shark Tank-inspired contest will involve a one-minute presentation (without props, slides, or any other supporting materials) to a panel of judges who are looking for original business concepts and/or new variations of an existing business concept. Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place.


SCLSNJ Teen Tycoons participants are:

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Andrzej Buniowski, 14, of Bridgewater Raritan High School

Anusahana Chandrashekar, 14, of Watchung Hills High School

Nicholas Cook, 15, of Bridgewater Raritan High School, partnered with Ryan Cook, 18, of Bridgewater Raritan High School

Ari Goodman, 15, of Bridgewater Raritan High School

Aboubacrine Haidara, 17, of North Plainfield High School

Brook Jiang, 18, of Bridgewater Raritan High School

Malika Jones, 18, of Gill St. Bernard’s School

Aadhrik Kuila, 15, of Montgomery High School

McKenzie Martinez, 14, homeschooled in Bridgewater, partnered with Gabriella Valdivia, 15, homeschooled in Hillsborough

Harshita Ramakrishan, 14, Bridgewater Raritan High School

Flabia Recinos, 16, of North Plainfield High School

Antonio Salazar, 18, of North Plainfield High School, partnered with Fred Lopotosky, 18, of North Plainfield High School

David Sawyer, 18, of North Plainfield High School

Darshan Shah, 15, of SCVTHS Academy for Health and Medical Sciences

Palak Shah, 15, of Hillsborough High School

Vraj Thakar of Hillsborough High School

Jonathan Valle, 18, of Bound Brook High School

Qingyang Wang, 17, Bridgewater Raritan High School

Stephen Wisniewski, 16, Bound Brook High School


“I am very interested in the business field largely because of Shark Tank, a show that will always inspire me,” said Anusahana Chandrashekar. “My interest in business led me to take a business course and also join a business club at my high school. I strongly believe that this contest will expose me to the art of selling an idea and further test my public speaking skills. I feel that I can learn a lot from this contest and improve myself as an entrepreneur.”

“I entered this contest not for money nor because I’m competitive, but because I thought it’d be fun,” said Aboubacrine Haidara.

“I entered this contest because I am involved in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club at my school and I want to gain more exposure with the business world so I can be better involved in the club,” said Harshita Ramakrishan. “Plus, I am considering a future in business and want to better acquaint myself with the field. I am also taking the Intro to Business elective at the High School and want to see if I can put my knowledge to use in a real world scenario.”

“SCLSNJ created this opportunity to encourage and promote the entrepreneurial spirit of Somerset County teens,” said Cathy DeBerry, SCLSNJ Business Task Force facilitator and Teen Tycoons coordinator. “We have had a wonderful response not only from our teens but from key business stakeholders in the county. I am cannot wait to hear their pitches on May 5.”

This competition has been made possible thanks to generous contributions made by: The Friends of the Bridgewater Library, the Friends of Peapack & Gladstone Library, and the Friends of Warren Library.