WBHS Alumni Speak on their Entrepreneurial Success
Six West Bloomfield High School DECA alumni recently spoke to over 400 members of the student body on their experience and advice on how to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Each of the speakers shared their experience and suggestions for pursuing a career as an entrepreneur. Entreprenext@WBHS was organized by West Bloomfield High School DECA Juniors Max Barash, Sam Carlin and Ayushi Uppal as part of their Entrepreneurship Promotion Project for competition at the State Career Development Conference in Detroit this March. Speakers included Alina Morse, Andrew Jacob, Spencer Comps, Ashley Danto Silverman, Josh Cooper, and Leah Moskowitz.
Alina Morse was the youngest of the speakers and the only one currently a student within the district. Alina is a teenpreneur and creator of Zollipops. She currently attends eighth grade at Abbott Middle School. She shared how at a young age she came up with the idea for the clean teeth pops which are now sold at Walmart, Amazon, Kroger and more. She has appeared on Shark Tank Kids Edition, The Steve Harvey Show and was featured on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine as one of their young millionaires. She shared how important it is to have a strong team and to give back to the community. She was recently named one of the 50 Women who are changing the world by In Style Magazine sharing the cover with Michelle Obama. Her advice included the importance of knowing it is, “ok to fail”.
Andrew Jacob, CEO of Thin Blue Line USA, spoke on the importance of starting to pursue your passions now. His passion for entrepreneurship began when he was a student at West Bloomfield High School. He and a close friend started the business of making adjustable belts called Over The Fly. The team entered their ideas into the DECA competition, winning 1st place at ICDC. After graduation, Andrew started Thin Blue Line USA which brought the national police flag to market, inspiring support across the country for law enforcement officers. Andrew shared with students the importance of leaning into discomfort, taking risks and learning to accept failure.
Spencer Comps, owner of Phase II Multimedia, spoke about being a successful entrepreneur and living your dreams. Spencer shared, “Believe your goals are possible.”
Ashley Danto Silverman a 2007 graduate of West Bloomfield High School and DECA State Finalist shared her experience in retailing from working with clothing to furniture. She shared how technology is changing in brick and mortar stores. She shared the importance of having a business plan, having a mentor and being passionate about your ideas.
Josh Cooper is CEO of SKOOP, Inc and one of the founders of U-Matter. The U-Matter concept placed in the top 10 at DECA ICDC. Josh spoke about taking your ideas and acting on them. Don’t question or consider if you should, just go for it.
Leah Moskowitz, a 2013 WBHS graduate and former Michigan DECA State Officer shared, “It was so great to talk to future business professionals about the importance of networking, finding a mentor and being passionate about everything you do.”
“I was inspired by Aliana Morse’s young age and how she has already accomplished so much,” said Julian Khoury.
“It was a very insightful day and motivated me to get a head start on my future,” said Taylor Zrepskey, WBHS junior.