New Business and Entrepreneurship Club offers introduction to starting a business


Himanshu Verma from Health Tech Inc. speaks at his presentation about Business Strategy, Development and Sustainable Growth to Business and Entrepreneurship club on Nov. 8

Ava-Grace Satterfield, Writer

Business and Entrepreneurship club, a new club at Rachel Carson Middle School, kicked off its first meeting Oct. 4 with special guest speaker Murali Yellepeddy of Trucker Tools

 “I can’t tell you how many mistakes we made in our company,” he said. “Had we had mentorship clubs like this opportunity, it would have helped us tremendously. Instead, we had to learn from our own mistakes instead of from others.”

Mr. Yellepeddy, who spoke about product development and patents, appreciated his audience’s enthusiasm and would have loved to have a similar experience when he was a middle school student. 

The club, led by Executive Officer Manya Yellepeddy and three other board members teaches the principles and concepts of business creation for students interested in one day creating their own business. These principles are taught by guest speakers from seven different STEM companies who will speak at the first meeting of every month for the rest of the year. 

 According eighth-grader Manya Yellepeddy of the Yellow Jackets team, guest speakers are a crucial part of the club’s teachings. 

“Guest speakers have knowledge and experience; without them, we wouldn’t know what to say!” she said. 

The guest speakers’ presentations will also help prepare club members with their product idea pitches for the upcoming Junior STEM Entrepreneurship Competition that will be held the last week of March. 

The Junior STEM Entrepreneurship Competition will be presented in a “Shark Tank” format. The competition will be hosted by the Airforce Academy and the Virginia Tech Resource Center. Students will pitch their product ideas to a panel of judges and the winning group will receive a guaranteed spot in the BRICC Summer STEM Camp. 

Sharri Clifford, seventh-grade history teacher and sponsor of the B and E club, says she is most excited to see what students come up with and pitch at the JSEC Competition later in the year.

 “I think that young people are the best in terms of the idea of being an entrepreneur because I think you guys see potential in things that older people may not,” she said. “I think that the way you guys market and see the need for things is really cool, and it blows my mind when I’m seeing what you guys come up with things I could never imagine.”

Club members expressed their excitement towards the Business and Entrepreneurship club and are looking forward to the competition at the end of the year as well. 

“I feel entrepreneurship is a great way to express what I feel and help me be more creative,” said Moksha Pandem, a seventh-grader on the Legacy team. “I think it’s such a nice thing to do at an age like this and having this knowledge at a young age is a good thing for the future.” 

Moksha is hoping to possibly create a lightbulb that is eco-friendly to pitch at the Junior STEM and Entrepreneurship contest later in the year. 

Anika Manda, a seventh-grader on the Dream Team, joined the club to learn something new and divert from school stress. “The experience is really nice and I get to collaborate with peers,” she said.

Students who have any questions may contact Mrs. Clifford or any eighth grade board member of the club. They can also refer back to the B and E website for any other information. 

Registration closed Nov. 8, but Business and Entrepreneurship will still be around next year for students who are interested but missed the registration due date. 

Sharani Chebrolu, a seventh-grader on the Legacy team, said, “I love the B and E club because it is so interactive and I love to collaborate with others.”