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Summer Program Designed To Train Future Business Leaders

By John Craven
Published On: Aug 04 2011 06:43:30 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 06 2011 04:57:48 AM CDT

Over the summer, you'll find most high schoolers hanging out with their friends, out on the baseball field, or maybe down at the shore.

One group is putting on their business suits and getting a first-hand look at the corporate world, though.

Wednesday afternoon, 69 News sat in on a strategy session for a new, smaller solar technology.

"[It's a] small unit [that] can be easily installed without the complexity of hiring an electrician," said Miko Green, owner of Off Grid Technologies, a small Bethlehem start-up.

This marketing team isn't made up of MBAs, though. They're high schoolers from across the state and the world. They're all part of the Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship at Lehigh University, which trains future business leaders.

The team we observed is working with Off Grid Technologies.

"We're developing a marketing plan for their new product, which is a solar charger," said Ran Bi, a rising high school senior from West Chester.

Off Grid develops small solar panels that go over windows, kind of like air conditioning units.

"It can charge phones, laptops, computers, batteries," said Sara Mohammad, a rising senior from Kuwait. "It can recharge them."

Right now, the team is trying to convince schools like Penn State to buy the technology. With the program, Green said she gets a youthful, and international, perspective -- at a bargain.

"Do I have a fund to pay $100,000 for a marketing or research development company to validate what we are contemplating?," she asked "We don't, quite frankly."

Since they're in marketing, we asked for the kids' best pitch.

"It really is a great product, and looking at the statistics of how much it saves, money-wise," said Mohammad.

Not bad.

Overall, the program hosts students from six states and 22 countries. The PSGE program runs until July 30. Lehigh University continued the program even after it lost all state funding.