Massachusetts High School Student Named Winner in Plan For The Future(SM) Competition

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$23,000 in prizes were awarded to 11 high school and college entrepreneurs by BizFilings and the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation.

The Plan For The Future competition provides promising entrepreneurs with real-life experience and encouragement for their ideas

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Young Entrepreneur Foundation and BizFilings named 11 winners in the inaugural Plan For The Future(SM) youth business plan competition. The competition, which is designed to enhance and encourage entrepreneurial skills for America’s youth, accepted entries from high school and college students from across the country. All applicants submitted detailed and viable business plans, which included market analysis, sales strategies and financial planning.

The grand prize winner is Jonathan “Jon” Fischer, a 17-year-old from Lunenburg, Mass., who just finished his junior year of high school. Fischer won $7,500 in seed money for his business, Speed-Demon.

Speed-Demon (http://www.speed-demon.org) is a high-tech startup that has developed a product which allows parents to monitor the driving habits of their teenagers. A portable box mounted on a car dashboard will record speed and GPS data. Once parents remove the device, they can plug it into a PC loaded with Speed-Demon software, which uses Google’s map technology, and see what roads their teenager traveled and at what speeds.

Speed-Demon was first developed by Jon for a state science fair and he currently has a patent pending. Once launched, the product is expected to cost $149. While the main goal of the company is to be profitable, a secondary purpose is to spark a dialog between parents and their teenagers about safe driving.

Winning the $5,000 second-place prize is DeVon Ellis-Grant of Summerville, S.C. Presently a junior at Savannah College of Art and Design, DeVon is pursuing a BFA in Film and Television Production. His business, D.E.G. Productions, LLC, is an independent, comprehensive multi-media production company.

The third-place prize of $2,500 goes to Matthew Schuster of Hampton Cove, Ala. Matthew, a sophomore at Auburn University, created a business plan for MS Productions/Sound Source Productions, a sound and lighting business currently serving the southeastern United States.

"The Plan For The Future competition is an excellent opportunity for students like Jon Fischer to develop important entrepreneurial skills and learn business strategies early on," said Hank Kopcial, executive director of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation. "At NFIB, we have an ongoing commitment to promoting and encouraging the teaching of entrepreneurship in high schools and colleges. We are thrilled that BizFilings has recognized the potential in these young people and invested in the future of free enterprise."

The following students won $1,000 scholarships in the Plan For The Future(SM) competition: Whitney Boyce, Vanderpool, Texas; Mark Zimmer, Marne, Michigan; Fantashia Stevens, Cleveland, Ohio; Natasha Spedalle, Astoria, New York; Sierra Brown, Memphis, Tennessee; Elisabeth Ortiz, Overland Park, Kansas; Faith Rivers, Charlotte, North Carolina; and Joseph D’Agostino, Newark, Delaware.

"The Plan For The Future competition provides promising entrepreneurs with real-life experience and encouragement for their ideas," said Mark Schiff general manager of BizFilings. "Drafting a solid business plan is the first, and possibly, most important step in starting a successful business. BizFilings is excited about our partnership with NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation and is thrilled to be able to help these students fulfill their dreams."

Competition entries were judged by an independent panel based on quality, creativity and viability of the business plan. More details about the competition are available at http://www.nfib.com/YEF and http://www.bizfilings.com.

About NFIB

The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s largest small-business advocacy group. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1943, NFIB represents the consensus views of its 600,000 members in Washington and all 50 state capitals. More information is available at the Young Entrepreneur Foundation Web site, http://www.nfib.com/YEF.

To accomplish its mission, the Young Entrepreneur Foundation depends on support from companies, such as BizFilings, which are interested in strengthening our country’s commitment to teaching the values of free enterprise and entrepreneurship.

About BizFilings

BizFilings is the leading Internet provider of incorporation and related services to business owners. BizFilings professionally forms corporations, LLCs, and nonprofits faster than anyone else. The company also offers Ultimate Business Planner software to help new businesses succeed.

As a company started in 1996 by entrepreneurs seeking online resources to start a business of their own, BizFilings embraces the entrepreneurial spirit. The company has grown rapidly in the past decade, helping over 100,000 domestic and international business owners with their corporation, limited liability company, and nonprofit formation needs. The company is headquartered in Madison, WI, with satellite operations around the country.

BizFilings is a part of Wolters Kluwer, a leading multinational publisher and information services company. Wolters Kluwer has annual revenues (2005) of €3.4 billion, employs approximately 18,400 people worldwide and maintains operations across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

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Troy Janisch
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