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VIA Star Competition Combines Student Brains With Business Brawn

The fourth annual VIA Star Competition will pair students with local businesses.

The Valley Industrial Association (VIA) Star Competition is a contest in which students from elementary, Jr. High and High Schools create new business products in partnerships with local business members.

This competition has been integrating student minds with business professionals for the past three years, and will once again be offering prizes for the top three business product proposals.

Each team of three to five kids will work with once teacher or advisor, one business coach, and one Santa Clarita host business.

 The students will then utilize research, interviewing and team work to identify a need and create a new business product or service.

“The kids will be teamed up with and then encouraged by a business leader, and informed by the business leader, but it’s up to the kids to come up with the idea,” said Susan Reynolds, Chair of the VIA Star Committee. “They’re supposed to be little junior business consultants.”

A panel of experts at a local site will judge the teams’ products, and the top three contenders will be presented with prizes at an awards ceremony. The top three will then go on to present and showcase their winning products or prototypes to the VIA membership at a luncheon.

“We’re trying to help kids learn to interface with businesses, and kind of build their early resumes,” said Reynolds. “And in theory, this will even be good on somebody’s college application.”

Applications are being accepted now. For information on applying to this competition, visit