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Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) History

After visiting practice firms in Vienna, Austria, and observing the benefits of this instructional model, the New York City Department of Education spearheaded the implementation of Virtual Enterprises in seven New York City public high schools, where it became the first and only program of its kind in the U.S.

Since its inception, VEI has been implemented in:

  • 500 secondary and post-secondary schools nationwide, serving over 10,000 students annually

  • VEI firms engage in trade with 5,000 other Virtual Enterprise firms around the nation and across the globe.

  • The transfer of funds is made electronically through a web-based simulated banking system that links all US-based VEI firms with each other and with Virtual Enterprise firms worldwide.

The VEI Approach: Learning by Doing Business Globally

VEI replicates all the functions of real businesses in both structure and practice. Under the guidance of a teacher-facilitator and business mentors, students create and manage their virtual businesses from:

  • product development

  • production and distribution

  • marketing

  • sales

  • human resources

  • accounting/finance

  • web design

VEI firms offer diverse products and services - from banking, insurance, and technology to publishing, advertising, app creation, tourism, and fashion.

These are some of the major competitions VE students are involved in:

  

Competitions:

Listed below are some of the competitions Hillcrest's VE class has participated in for the past 10 years:

  • Advertising Futures

  • Perfect Pitch

  • Business Plan

  • Global Business Challenge

  • Stock Market Game

  • Trade Fairs: National, International, NYC

The Advertising Futures competition partners our firm with a real advertising agency who helps us create a print ad. We are given a "brief", or topic, and told to come up with a persuasive ad that is then presented in a competition during "Advertising Week", which is a week-long event sponsored by the Ad Council.

The Perfect Pitch competition is just that - coming up with a perfect sales pitch. We filmed our pitch in the Hillcrest elevator because that is where many business pitches or sales are made. Students are given 90 seconds to pitch their company.

The Business Plan competition is our biggest and most important event. Hillcrest has hosted the Queens competition for the part three years; and for the part 10 years, our virtual firm has placed in the local competition and gone on to compete in the city wide competition.

The Global Business  Challenge is an international challenge with students from all over the country and the world participating. The goal is to solve a real business challenge for a company. Last year’s challenge was to help Starbucks solve their sales dilemma. Two of our students advanced to the final round, and one student placed third and received an IPod a trophy.

 The Stock Market Game has VE students from all over the city following the real stock market. Each team is given $100,000 “virtual” dollars to invest in the stock market. Every day the teams check the market to see if they made or lost money on their investment. They can buy and sell stocks whenever they want during the regular trading day; and at the end of the 12-week competition, the winning team receives a real cash prize. In 2013 our team came in 2nd place in the city.


Trade Fairs
 Some of the most exciting events for VE students are the trade fairs. VE students can attend national and international trade fairs in California, NYC, and Europe. The biggest and best is the NYC Trade Fair. Every VE student is involved in this trade fair; and this is where they use all the skills they have learned to sell their products or service and make money for their firm. Other trade fair competitions include:

  • best sales pitch

  • best booth

  • best catalog 

  • best web design

In recent trade fairs, our firm has won the Best Booth and Best Web Design competitions.

Workshops, Internships, College Now

In addition to the regular VE workshops offered throughout the year, students can also attend:

Job Readiness Workshop: Business professionals prepare VE students for work by reviewing their resumes and by providing guidance on interviewing techniques and proper business attire. Students who have attended a job readiness workshop become eligible for a paid internship after school, in the summer, or both.

College Now: Students earn transferrable college credit through Hillcrest’s College Now Program. Classes are held at the college campus or at Hillcrest HS.