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Central Washington University

Students Are All Business at CWU’s Washington Business Week

Nine high school students from Washington, including two international students, won a business simulation competition as a part of Washington Business Week (WBW) at Central Washington University. The group’s simulated business, Flotech, created a shoe with an adjustable heel called “The Boost” to win the competition.

CWU was one of four universities in Washington that hosted 38th annual Washington Business Week this summer.

More than 120 high school students came to Central’s Ellensburg Campus to participate in the internationally recognized business simulation program. Business Week, which lasts seven days, is designed to teach students how businesses work internally through competitions and hands-on activities.

“I think the [Business Week motto] covers it—‘Real world experience, life-changing results’,” says Marvin Bouillon, chair of the CWU Accounting Department and Business Week chair. “These kids are changed when they leave Business Week.”

The main activity the students participate in is the business simulation competition. Students are placed in small groups and challenged to create a product and use business strategies to figure aspects like cost and price of production.

A volunteer businessperson advises each group of students. Last week, there were also volunteer speakers from businesses like Boeing and Microsoft. 

At the end of the week, students presented their products and results, and attended a mock tradeshow where they attempted to sell their product to judges. The group with the most investors was crowned the winner.

Washington Business Week has come to emphasize different business fields such as health, agriculture, and energy. The program has also spread many different schools and states, including venturing over-seas to Poland, proving to be a beneficial and rewarding experience for high school students across the globe. Former CWU President James Brooks created Washington Business Week in 1976.

Winning Group: Flotech
Product or service: "The Boost" a shoe with a high heel that can be adjusted to different heel heights based on style and comfort.
Zach James, GED program, Wenatchee
Claire Kelly, Eastside Catholic HS, Sammamish
Bartosz Królikowski, Poland
Dylan Larson, Timberline HS, Olympia
Veranika Lautsova, Republic of Belarus
Haley Manly, Moses Lake HS, Moses Lake
Carly Rang, Hanford HS, West Richland
Jack Ratliffe, Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle
Chandler Rinehart, West Black Hills HS, Olympia
The company advisor was Mindy Workman, finance project manager of Intermec, Inc. in Snohomish. Workman attended WBW as a student in 1999.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

Prepared by Kyra Jo Garnich

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