The Samo SAGE team competes in South Africa for the 2010 SAGE World Cup, and places second after a Singapore Junior College.
Samo’s ROP Students of the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship team of Global Entrepreneurship team placed second in the SAGE World Cup 2010 business competition this summer in South Africa.
When the competition began, the United States team faced high schools from South Africa, Ghana, China, Ireland, N. Ireland, South Korea, Zambia, Ukraine, Russia, Nigeria, Canada, and a junior college from Singapore. The scoring was based on two sections, presentation and Q&A.
The 13-minute multimedia presentation had the members display all of their new and existing on campus businesses (Seflora, Tote-a-lly Awesome).
“We were on such a high because [of] our presentation,” senior team member Jessica Santiago said. “Nobody messed up, everyone was on point.”
The seven-minute Q&A revolved around unscripted questions the judges asked the team about their businesses. This proved to be more difficult for the team because of the first judge’s accent.
“We knew that if he had said it clearly we would have answered,” said Santiago.
The contestants were scored by categories and because the US and Singapore teams had tied for first, the judges had to go back and count every point in each category. After the count, the US lost by two points. “I would have rather lost by 100 points! We were just so close,” said Santiago.
The team held small fundraisers, such as selling Jamba Juice, and received a small grant from the city to fill the $40,000 needed for all team members to participate. After all of this, none of it had a significant enough impact to make a difference. Surprisingly, the money was covered by an anonymous donor, and without it, only five out of 11 could have competed.
Money aside, the only obstacle standing between the team and the competition was the 18-hour flight to Dubai and then the nine-hour flight to Cape Town. Although the team was only in Dubai for one night, senior team member Santiago said it was well-needed rest and that everyone was thankful for the warm showers and beds.
In Cape Town the team was greeted by friendly people. “It was so amazing how nice everyone was,” said Santiago.
Due to lack of funding the team will not be competing internationally this upcoming year. They will stick to only local competitions.
The US teams’ disappointment was fueled by the fact that the winning country had not selected a high school, but a junior college to compete in the finals.
“All the other teams were high schools, it seemed unfair.” said Senior team member Evan Parra-Raygoza. Also, Singapore had only new businesses as opposed to new and existing ones.
Even though Santiago is proud of the team’s accomplishments, she feels that they were “robbed of first place.”
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