Project ECHO club raises over $1000 to fund business competition


Photo courtesy of Carine Suherman

Sophomore Mattea Park prepares spicy candy to sell at one of the club’s fundraisers.

Daria Burnosova, Senior Reporter

The Burlingame chapter of Project ECHO, short for Entrepreneurial Concepts Hands On, was founded by Carine Suherman in the fall of 2021. The club, a small group of just 10 students, intends to teach entrepreneurial thinking and give students the opportunity to create their own business plans. 

This year, Project ECHO’s work will culminate in the 19th Annual High School Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition. This year is the first in-person competition since COVID-19, and it will be taking place in April at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Suherman wants to enter two teams of five this year, double the students that Burlingame sent the previous year. However, the registration fee for the competition is $125 per person — which meant the club had a lot of fundraising to do.

In a show of entrepreneurship, the club raised around $1,100 in three months, selling items such as Mexican-inspired spicy candy and Mogu Mogu Asian jelly drinks. The club leaned on their school networks and fundraised during football games, before and after school and to their friends and family. 

One club member, William Stobaugh, even offered to use income from his work with an international cyber organization to pay his own $125 fee.

This year, Project ECHO aims to hold more fundraisers for future competitions and perhaps fund guest speakers. Ultimately, Suherman hopes the activity will help the club gain support — but she is wary of adding new members and taking on greater competition fees. 

However, after doubling her club size from the previous year, Suherman hopes that an influx of members could help the club fundraise.

“We do not need new members, but we are open to looking for other candidates,” Suherman said. “The club is mainly my friends and people I personally asked to join, because I did not want many members originally.”