Golden West High School students take top honors in national Elevator Pitch competition

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Some South Valley high school students are receiving top honors for their business “scents”.

“This is a student-led project,” said Dr. Jacob Hutchison, the Business Finance Academy Teacher for Golden West High School. “I’m allowing them to really lead, create, draft, succeed and fail on their own.”

For their capstone project, the seniors of Golden West High School’s Virtual Enterprise Program had to develop a business idea all on their own.

“Making deadlines, working together, coordinating between all the departments to make sure we’re able to submit everything on time and we’re able to submit our best work,” said Golden West High School senior Ariel Rodriguez when describing the workload.

These motivated students developed Scentify, a virtual business specializing in towels infused with scents.

“That’s always an industry that people tend to buy from and love, just like I do,” said Senior Dede Ledger.

From securing funding to pitching to investors, they did it all.

“It didn’t exactly look like it was going to be easy,” said Senior Zachary Davis. “It would be 11:30 at night and we’re just cranking out the executive plan.”

The hard work payed off. Out of hundreds of entries from across the U.S., the students placed in the top 10% at the Virtual Enterprises Elevator Pitch competition.

“They defied all odds and they’re competing at the highest levels, not only in the state of California but nationwide,” said Hutchison.

Now they’re hoping to apply those skills to the real job market.

“I’m trying to apply the skills I learned through my position and am in the process of starting a business an LLC in the state of California,” said Senior Erick Villasenor-Sanchez.

The students are taking part in several statewide competitions and will receive their results in the coming months.

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