Calhoun’s Virtual Enterprise Team Wins Elevator Pitch Contest

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After coming across novelty color-changing nail polish, Christie Powell, a member of the Calhoun High School Virtual Enterprise team had the idea to put that technology to life-saving use.

She brought the concept to her teammates in Peter Palazzo’s class and the idea of DefenseLine was born. 

“DefenseLine is a health and public safety company that specializes in the protection against date rape drugs such as Ketamine, GHB and Rohypnol,” explained Powell.

The team’s conceptual business won first place in the Elevator Pitch Contest at the 2018 Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference sponsored by LIU Post and Virtual Enterprise International. The team was among than 1,500 students from over 60 high schools on Long Island to compete and earned a $1,000 prize.

“DefenseLine offers many products such as nail polish, key chains, rings, straws and coasters that contain a chemical indicator that changes colors when it detects harmful drugs,” added Palazzo.

A presentation was completed by the entire team, each contributing insight on various aspects of a business model. Palazzo said he was proud to see the students come together in such a collaborative effort. 

CEO Brenden Rosario gave the pitch at the conference.

“If this concept were to be released, it would have a great impact around the globe,” he said, citing an increase in sexual assault in both male and females.

Student team members include Finn Campbell, Giavanna Correa, Brendan DeFalco, Jake Edwards, Ryan Ferrulli, Samantha Fortmeyer, Elizabeth Herman, Dylan Hughes-McTurk, Eric Immel, Margaret Joseph, Brittney Krause, Sydney McGinley, Dylan Muccini, Christie Powell, Emily Rawson, Kirsten Ringnalda, Brenden Rosario, Frank Sturiano, Sarah Tappeto, Harrison Valdes and Liam Walley.

This is the second time in three years that a VE team from Calhoun has accomplished this feat. From here, they go on to compete at the regional level.