CSU, Chico News

Entrepreneurial Teens Compete for SAGE California Title

Date: 04-18-2014

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Curt DeBerg, Professor
Department of Accounting
530-520-7370, cdeberg@csuchico.edu

More than 50 high school students from Northern California will be traveling to Chico this Saturday, April 19, to compete to become the SAGE CA champion and earn an invitation to represent California at the SAGE USA event in Pittsburgh.

In partnership with CSU, Chico’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) will conduct its state competition on Saturday, April 19, at CSU, Chico.

Teens from San Jose, Palo Alto, Marysville, Paradise and Chico will be judged on the innovation and creativity of their entrepreneurial ventures. There are two categories of competition: best commercial enterprise and best social enterprise. Throughout the year, CSU, Chico business students have acted as mentors and consultants to their younger counterparts. Now the high school students have a chance to give a presentation about their business ideas and field questions from the judges. Judges include over 40 business and civic leaders from Northern California.

The student entrepreneurship projects can range from starting an art studio to creating a website that acts as a hub for recycling electronics like mobile phones and tablets.

The California SAGE champions from last year are from Marysville High School and Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto. Both teams will be in Chico on Saturday.

CSU, Chico SAGE leader Sarah McComish is in charge of Saturday’s event. McComish is a senior business major who came to Chico from Sprague High School in Oregon.

“I love how my fellow Chico State students and I can help teens start real business enterprises,” McComish said. “I wish we had something like SAGE when I was in high school.”

She added, “Our roles change at the end of the year. We morph from mentors to project managers, where we become event and project leaders for the tournaments.”

McComish’s work with SAGE has given her a unique, hands-on learning experience and a global perspective. In the past three years, she has traveled to Nigeria, Russia, Cincinnati, Chicago and New York to run SAGE events.

The national competition will take place at the University of Pittsburgh on May 23-25. Winners advance to the SAGE World Cup event in Moscow, Russia, August 8-13. Both events are organized and staffed by CSU, Chico students under the direction of SAGE founder Curtis L. DeBerg. DeBerg is also an accounting professor at CSU, Chico.

The main sponsors of USA SAGE are Arata Brothers Trust of Sacramento, the California Society of CPAs, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Allstate Foundation and Wells Fargo Bank.

The public is invited to observe the event on Saturday in Colusa Hall 100. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at about 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

For more about SAGE, visit http://www.csuchico.edu/sage/