RIVERSIDE, Calif., April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- High school students across the city of Riverside got a taste of what it's like to grow and run a business at the 2018 Mayor's Entrepreneurial Challenge Boot Camp, held at SolarMax Technology. When it was over, three teams - including two from the same school - showed they have the recipe for success.
A group from Martin Luther King High School captured top honors in the three-day competition, earning $1,500 for their business acumen. The STEM-LEAPS team from Arlington High School finished second, edging a second team from King, and garnering prize money of $1,000 and $500, respectively. Sponsors SolarMax, Bourns Engineering and the City of Riverside Mayor's Office each contributed funds to the total prize purse.
This year marked the second for the business boot camp - organized by the Mayor's Office and conducted by The Advancement Academy - to educate students about business financial literacy and entrepreneurship. The event debuted in 2016, after Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey attended the Academy's flagship business venture program at California State University, San Marcos. Inspired by the concept, Mayor Bailey formed a consortium of local business leaders and educators to bring the competition to Riverside.
"Creativity and innovation aren't confined by age," said Mayor Bailey. "The business insights these students shared show us - and, more importantly, the kids themselves - that we have the intellectual capital to start and grow successful companies right here in Riverside."
Advancement Academy Executive Director Will Ferguson stressed that the value of the boot camp goes beyond grooming the next crop of business majors in college.
"The discipline that comes from operating a successful business will help these youngsters in every aspect of their lives," said the organization's co-founder.
Mentor Gordon Bourns, CEO of Bourns, Inc., added, "Initially, you can tell some students feel like they're out of their league…but then things start to click, and seeing that transformation is a joy to watch."
The Riverside competition is the only one in California that actually takes place inside a business. For SolarMax Executive Vice President Ching Liu, the 165,000 square-foot venue adds a unique and beneficial dimension to the students' experience.
"At some point in life you must take what you've learned in the classroom and start to apply it in marketplace," said the SolarMax Co-Founder. "We owe it to our future leaders to invest in their skills - both inside and outside the classroom."
About SolarMax Technology, Inc.
Founded in 2008, SolarMax Technology is a worldwide leader in solar, LED lighting, energy storage, monitoring and large-scale solar. The Riverside, California-based company, which has installed thousands of residential and commercial systems across Southern California, remains one of the fastest growing companies in the renewable energy space. SolarMax employs a workforce of nearly 200 professionals across its offices in Riverside, Diamond Bar, Fresno and San Diego. It is also the largest U.S.-headquartered solar developer operating in the Peoples Republic of China, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing and inland provinces.
CONTACT: Michael Shepherd
SOURCE SolarMax Technology, Inc.