New Beginnings!

Dear Readers:

Congratulations! You have made it to the end. As expected, today was quite a special day. The BizSmart campers’ performance did not disappoint; in fact, as Headmaster Scott Wilson pointed out: they did 10 times better than professional adults!” The core value of Camp BizSmart was to incubate and cultivate character, courage and citizenship; Undoubtably the camp had lived up to its value. Furthermore, the camp has exceeded the expectation because of the campers’ daily growth in terms of creativity, empathy, public speaking, and leadership.

Now let me introduce you to the very key aspect of each team:









Some rewards followed:

Entrepreneurial Quotient points:
—points were awards for good behavior and teamwork
—The team with most accumulative points in the past 2 weeks wins

Congratulations HYDRO SQUAD!

Benjamin Franklin Coin:
—Awarded to the person who truly embodied ZOG(Zest Optimism and Grit)
—Also earned a full scholarship summer program at Stanford University next summer!!!

Congratulations MICHAEL DAVIS!

And last but not least: the winning team!

Thumbs up for HYDRO SQUAD!

Well, there you have it. The final results all came from consistent and mindful soft skills and team work. Thank you Camp BizSmart for the past 2 weeks of awesomeness; I guess it is time to look forward to next year’s camp:)

Signing off


Excited? You Should Be

Congratulations Dear Readers:

This might just be the shortest article you will ever read!

I would love to keep you all updated on the Camp, but these two days have been “special”, and for technical issues, I could not give out any sneak peak on their enlightening designs and plans. But let us not be discouraged by this! I feel even more excited walking in tomorrow to see them present like professionals, compete as a team, and shine like stars; regardless of winning or losing, they have already won in my eyes. If you happen to be a parent/ parents of the BizSmart campers and are reading this, please let them know: Tong loved writing about them and witnessing their daily growth!

Now it is time for us to get excited for the Big Day!

Ahh Interviews!

On Tuesday, the teams were making huge progress on their PPTs and business plans, and after watching Mr. David Walling’s talk about storytelling with passion, the BizSmart campers learned that the fear of change was often the reason customers don’t buy the products. If they were able to figure out what motivates the customers to buy, the products will most likely be successful!

Now let us get to the most exciting part— The Interviews!

Kira Pan:

Kira is 11-years-old and this is her first time participating in business affiliated camps. She is currently the CIO (Chief Innovation Officer) of AQUINAS, and her position allows her to think of different ideas without worrying about applicability. Furthermore, she loves to think outside the box in order to contribute as much as possible to the team! The team’s product is a device, which monitors water quality though water PH, dissolved oxygen and chemicals, etc. The rather interesting design, where a hole exists on both top and bottom, enables the buyers to choose between hooking the product under a buoy, or chaining it on a tank. Kira believes the most important thing about their product is its inexpensive price tag and convenience. Moreover, Kira says she loves this camp because this experience would be helpful in the future for starting an actual business while this camp also allows her to use a great amount of imagination.

Luiz Campos:

Luiz is 14-years-old and a native of Chattanooga. As the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), he keeps an eye on each teammate and helps them to stay on track. If you have not guessed it, their design is the VR Goggles! However, their different implementation of materials such as gables on the front allows the wearers to see through while keeping the goggles slim and light. To Luiz, the Netflix exclusive content streaming is the defining factor of this product and the 360-degree camera enables the wearers to watch though the actors’ perspective. Just my personal opinion here: No one would buy Google Glasses after this is launched! I am glad to know Luiz is enjoying this experience and community while also learning more about business.

Martin Alvarez:

At the age of 13, Martin has has some former experience in business affiliated camps. To be even more specific, he has participated in the exact same camp and assumed the exact same position! Coming here all the way from Guatemala, Martin quickly blends in the team and contributes as the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). His former experience allows him to perform even better at determining the customers and advertising. Their product seems to be complicated, but it definitely sounds technically advanced! It produces energy, specifically thermoelectric energy, and the team plans to have the products distributed and planted in deserts where the curved cube design enables energy to be generated and stored throughout the day. The fact that this product only produces environmentally-friendly energy makes Marin believe this is what makes this product stand out. Being a boarding student myself, I am pleased to hear Martin enjoys living in a dorm with friendly staff.

Karsten McKinney:

Also at the age of 13 and with some similar former camp experience, Karsten works in a completely different style than others. Because of the uneven number of campers, Karsten assumes both positions of CEO and CTO (Chief Technology Officer). However, this does not make this team anyhow disadvantaged; in fact, Karsten’s ability to work on their product’s applicability while managing the whole team is impressive! Although their product functions as a sensor, it is way different from your everyday gadget such as Fitbit. This product records workouts and helps the wearers to improve as in forms and efficiency, and therefore acts as a “physical therapist”. Karsten is clearly enjoying this experience and loves the food. Through all the sessions taught by “professionals,” Karsten has gotten more familiar with business and company structure, and he believes this experience will ensure him being steps ahead from others when starting an actual business!

I would like to end here with an even more enlightening note. Among the campers I interviewed, everyone enjoyed this experience, and would 100% recommend Camp BizSmart to others!

Tomorrow every business plans will hopefully be featured according to plan. Stay tuned!

Getting There!!!

Welcome to week 2! The BizSmart campers will technically have 3 and a half more days to work on their business plans, presentation, and team chemistry. The Tennessee Aquarium trip on Thursday afternoon would lead up to the most significant event— competition and graduation on Friday. Although the time is is limited, never underestimate the campers’ ability to create awesomeness in the remaining hours!

After a nice and active weekend of cruising and zip lining, the campers started out energetically on Monday. In the morning, the campers learned more about branding and marketing to maximize their sales and hence profit.


In the afternoon, the campers watched 3 rather different but definitely educational Ted Talks:


1)How great leaders inspire actions by [Simon Sinek]
—The Golden Circle
-all know What to make, most know How, but VERY FEW know Why
-people buy why you do it!!!
—The goal is to sell to people who believe in what you believe!

2)Why people believe they can’t draw and how to prove they can by [Graham Shaw]
—The learning process if often frustrating, and results in a loss of confidence.
— But keeping an open mind in order to think differently and challenge oneself will make the impossible a reality.

3)How to sound smart in your TED Talk by [Will Stephen]
—Even though the speaker has been talking gibberish for the entire time, he attracted full-on attention and pulled through an impressive talk with continuous body language and gesture.

These 3 talks all built up to the rather self-explanatory but critical rule: The 70,20,10 Rule.
—70%: the way you behave on stage
—20%:The way you sound and the tone of your voice
—10%: The Information that you give
This rule acts as an re-emphasis on how important on-stage presentation is, and we will see how each team takes advantage of this rule to make the most out of their work on Friday.

Current Designs:


On Tuesday, I will have the pleasure to interview all the CEOs, and have a better understanding of each team’s standing as well as product. After that, the teams will have all of their business plans ready by late Wednesday, and practice for the remainder of the sessions aiming to excel on Friday!

50% Completed!!!


If you are reading this article, congratulations, you have made the first week! Looking back, the BizSmart campers have made enormous progress from day 1, and are now moving on to making their own business plans. After a productive coaching session with the CFOs, Director Marla Zemanek led another CMO coaching session in the afternoon.


When Director Zemanek asked what marketing was, the CMOs answered “ the process to promote and sell their products” without hesitation. Based on that solid understanding of marketing, they went into details regarding the 4 Ws.

1.What is your product?
The CMOs seemed to have a good sense of their products’ design and features. However, there were still uncertainties including packaging, delivery, and desired profit.

2.Who are the buyers?
in order to answer this question, the CMOs had to know their targeted customers and design advertisements to attract the buyers. Director Zemanek brought out the point of determining pricing range to eventually locate the age and demographic range of the buyers. Moreover, this aspect led them to the third question.

3.What are the benefits?
If the products were good enough, why would not the customers buy them? Now the problem was how to make this a reality. This question worked hand in hand with the products’ features that the teams were working on, and once this was determined, they would have a green light to move on to the last question.

4.Who are the competitors?
The CMOs sounded very confident when asked this question, as the teams have already conducted research and collected data prior to this session. In addition, teams such as FLIXNET and HYDRO SQUAD either had a different focus or intended to start out as nonprofitable to avoid competition.

Overall, the CMOs generated a greta amount of ideas and Director Zemanek encouraged them to create surveys with the VOCs to discover the sweet spot between their products and customers to maximize potential profit.

After this session, the teams resumed working on their designs and each had some rather enlightening ideas:

This team currently had 3 designs:
-hexagonal prism,
-larger cylinder

Judging from their potential designs, size seemed to be a large factor in their product.

Oculus: Where the videos will be streamed.
Body frame of the glasses: Where the oculus will be fitted( in the front).
Oculus+Body Frame: an amazing product that was tinted outside, but could stream videos on the inside.

On the front of the box, the product will be seen through clear plastic. The customers would find details about the product such as brief description, manufactured site, and allergy alert on the back. Finally inside the box, this fantastic product, Enstick, will be assembled and built in with sensors beforehand to eliminate chances for extra damage.

They envisioned their products to be set up in Africa and produce solar energy. This energy source would be affordable thanks to the design of the battery size, grip, and the parts and outputs. If the first product proved to be a success, they will eventually expand to East Africa. Clearly, they already had a nice plan laid up!

After that, the teams resumed working on their designs from yesterday, and their ideas were slowing turning into reality! Next week will be the second and last week, so watch out for their products because they might just blow your mind!!!


Have a great weekend and more updates will be there before you know it!

The most colorful day yet!

Hello dear readers!

Before I start on the BizSmart campers’ colorful Thursday, I would like to rewind to Wednesday evening. I assumed the campers would take a break after a long day and stay away from their products. Well, clearly my assumption was wrong. The teams did extensive research on other companies that could compete with them. Moreover, they actually called several companies and collected data under the name of a “school project.” What a brilliant move! One camper’s call was even answered by the CEO of that company! Now that was a mighty productive Wednesday; it is time for us to dive into Thursday.

In the morning, the campers engaged in a marketing analysis. This activity involved mostly around potential customers and their demographics. Clearly, it was rather difficult to figure these details out. However, they were able to gain a better understating of this concept with the data gathered yesterday and determine the nature of their products as either commercial or personal. Furthermore, this activity stressed the benefits offered to the customers to help the campers understand the relationship between advertising and marketing.

Marketing analysis!

In order to “combat” the abstract nature of the morning activity, the teams began to design their products in Baylor’s IdeaLab, and create them with the method of prototyping. Although the prototypes were not anywhere near perfect, the campers were able to bring their ideas to reality and work step by step to achieve perfection. The campers had access to all kinds of “future technologies” in the IdeaLab including 3D printers, VR and CNC Machine.


Even though the teams were eager to try out the fancy equipments, they opted to use the inexpensive and accessible materials to start. When it came to first day prototyping, cardboards and poster boards were the campers’ favorites. All teams were experts in terms of carving and cutting skills, but their strategies were rather different. Some groups drew and crafted the product together; other teams actually broke into even smaller groups to work on different products at the same time.

Dr. Mary Loveless’s quick introduction to Prototyping!!!

So this led us to the most exciting part—the key components of each product!

They envision their product’s cost being far less and more feature advantaged than their competitors. The goal was to design the product to be hangable from buoys in order to collect data and not disturb aquatic organisms.

Imagine wearing something that has the lens of ski goggles and body frame of regular glasses! Even more exciting, their current design left the product’s exterior as a sheet and the interior includes a nose indention to stabilize the product on the wearer.

This team surely had its competitors figured out! They decided to build a vibration feature into the now circle shaped product, yet they have not figured out the exact sizes of their product.

Their electricity generating product’s current design needed solar power as its main energy source during the day and firepower or charged energy during the night, but the team was still working on alternative features to keep the product functioning on cloudy days and places without fire.

Come back tomorrow and be surprised by their progress!

Not every egg cracks!



What happens when you drop an egg? It cracks and makes a mess. But what if it stays intact or does not break upon impact?

On Wednesday morning, BizSmart campers were given the task of dropping the egg, but without breaking it. Each team was given a limited amount of materials including string, scissors, straws, and a piece of newspaper to build a product that would support the egg upon its fall and keep it from breaking. In addition, they were asked to create a jingle for their new product. The goal of this exercise was to teach them the proper use of limited resources similar to a limited budget in real life. Furthermore, the teams would learn how to plan ahead in future tasks and strategize first instead of diving straight in.

Overall, the teams were having great discussions and produced rather different products. Notably, Hydro Squad knew asking for more materials will not work, so they rephrased the request by using the word “borrow” and negotiated with other teams and coaches to receive the extra materials.

Now let us move on to the more exciting part: The Egg Drop Competition.

preping their products!!!

This team has shown great confidence and claimed their product to be “eggcellent,” but it cracked upon impact. Still thumbs up to the team’s confidence.

Team FLUX was 50% sure that its product would not crack. Well, this was probably an unlucky day, as the egg cracked. Good job guys, sometimes it just takes a bit more effort to achieve 100%!

They claimed their egg wouldn’t break because it is an excellent product. But, excellence often does not result in success. Keep working, and you will surprise yourself with a truly excellent product.

“It’s a fortune, it’s an egg, it’s the fortune egg.” This was certainly the squad’s lucky day as the egg cracked like every other team’s egg, but was the only one that did not break. Moreover, this team incorporated a brilliant parachute design with the extra materials, and this difference most likely led them to success. If fortune eggs are that magical, I wonder if fortune cookies can do the same?


Congratulations HYDRO SQUAD!!!

BizSmart Camp Director Marla Zemanek wrapped up this activity by getting feedback from the teams and revealing the meaning behind this competition. It was fantastic to see different campers stepping in to lead their teams. Also, they have learned not to assume anything, and instead, use the materials resourcefully with a better plan before they start.

Director Zemanek’s quick wrap up!

After this activity, the teams continued to be productive and narrowed down their products lines into 3 from yesterday’s brainstorm session! If you are curious about their progress, wait for the next update!