WEST ORANGE, NJ - After recently taking third place during their first time competing at the New Jersey Regional Trade Show and Business Competition held at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, the members of the newly formed West Orange High School (WOHS) Virtual Enterprise team for this accomplishment during last week’s West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) Mayor’s Breakfast.

During the competition, open to all New Jersey students enrolled in grades 9-12, students are given the challenge to create a business idea and submit it to a panel of judges comprised of university professors and experts in business and entrepreneurship. Students with the most innovative ideas and business proposals are awarded scholarships, certificates and cash prizes in addition to being recognized at an awards ceremony, where they will have the opportunity to network with other innovative high school students from across New Jersey.

With the guidance of advisor Maria Frangos, the WOHS team devised a business plan for “Elia Life.”

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“EliaLife, Inc. is a West Orange, NJ start-up dedicated to improving customer health while assisting in the preservation of traditional olive oil farming,” said Frangos. “We do so as facilitators of sale, connecting small southern European COOPs in Italy, Greece and Spain with eco-friendly and health conscious buyers throughout the United States and Europe.”

The competition grew from six teams in 2018 to 19 this year, not including the four teams that presented remotely prior to the competition due to administrative reasons. The addition of a Championship Round added an exciting new experience for the participating teams this year.

In addition to the WOHS team, other teams that earned a berth the Championship Round included: 

 *  "MerchMe" - Morris County School of Technology   

 *  "Deja Brew" - Morris Knolls High School 

 *  "Bubbles Up" - Livingston High School

 *  "VersaTie" - Academy for MS&E                             

 *  "Appy Hour" - Lakeland Regional High School         

 *  "Snak Pax" - Parsippany Hills High School             

The final results of the Championship Round were as follows:

  *  "Deja Brew" - 1st Place (National Championship Qualifier)

  *  "MerchMe" - 2nd Place

  *  "Elia Life" - 3rd Place

“This is a big deal and a great new program that was rolled at WOHS this year with the financial support of the West Orange Education Foundation Alumni Fund and the volunteer efforts of the WOCC,” said Jim Quinn, treasurer of the West Orange Scholarship Fund.

Nancy Mullin, Supervisor of Career and Library Science for West Orange Schools, added that it was a huge accomplishment to come in third out of 23 schools during the WOHS team’s first year participating.

During the WOCC Mayor’s Breakfast held at the Wilshire Grand Hotel last week, Mayor Robert Parisi also delivered his state-of-the-township address and honored a handful of other outstanding WOHS students and athletes. Click HERE to read about his address, or HERE to read more about the students honored.