Regatta 2017: An Entrepreneurial Adventure

Saturday, April 29, 2017 - By: Haden U, Ellis ‘19; Photo by Luis M, Privett '18

It is time for the annual Brentwood Regatta, and as a new student, this event is all that I have heard about for weeks. So far, this is something you can’t miss. The sun was out, the rowers are battling, and the campus has been transformed into a festival. 

As you stroll through the campus you will notice all the hard-working individuals at the several foods stand. Taking in all the excitement and consuming the several delicacies being offered, one may forget that the owners of these companies are Grade 11 students. These young entrepreneurs are all members of Mr. Flynn’s Entrepreneurship 12 class. Students participate in the “Regatta Project”, which challenges young entrepreneurs to run a business for the weekend with little funding. 

Throughout the first day of regatta, I was fortunate to interview some of the students about the idea of creating a business as an academic project, and the challenges and lessons it presents. Students were tasked with creating their own food companies. This process involved assigning jobs, getting loans, and creating a business plan. When I asked Mr. Flynn what he hopes students take away from this event, he replied, “I hope the experience gives them the sense of the importance of planning and working as a team. And most of all that nothing is free in life. If you want to be successful, you have to go out and work for it.” Speaking with several of the students in the booths, they all agree with Mr. Flynn’s philosophy and understand that successful businesses do not come easily.

During the jam-packed and exciting first day, I was lucky enough to land an interview with CEO of Prime Panini, Lanny L, Ellis ‘18. When asked about the biggest challenges of his job Lanny said, “Working as a team and coordinating what everyone is doing so when the big lunch rush comes we can put out the food in a reasonable time.” I also asked him if he likes the idea of creating a business as an academic project, and how he can use the skills he’s learned moving forward in life. He responded, “I do. I really do. I think it’s fun but also a lot of work, but hopefully it all pays off in the end. It is showing us what it would be like in real life and teaches us very valuable lessons. If I learned one thing it’s that enough planning is never enough; you always have to go beyond your original boundaries.” I believe that Lanny’s classmates and partners would agree with all that he said. 

After an electric and sunny first day, all groups are off to a spectacular start. So if you get the munchies, and have been living under a rock, make sure to get out and support the Brentwood students and enjoy the great food they are providing.

Haden U, Ellis ‘19

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