What custom car designers have done for automobiles, high school student Ashton Canada hopes to do for the world of online gaming.
Canada, 17, a junior at Seacrest Country Day School in Naples, has founded UniqueModz, a company that customizes Xbox 360 video game controllers to the customer’s specifications. His 2-year-old company is looking to expand.
|PBA Provost Dr. Joseph A. Kloba, left, and Rinker School of Business Interim Dean Dr. Leslie Turner, right, present a check to high school student Ashton Canada for his first-place entry in the 2013 Rinker School of Business High School Entrepreneurship Business Plan Challenge.|
The young entrepreneur received $1,000 to invest in his business on Thursday when he was named the first-place winner in the Rinker School of Business Entrepreneurship High School Business Plan Challenge at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
This is the second year of the competition, which drew 25 submissions from students at 15 high schools from Orlando to Miami.
Canada believes that the judges liked “being able to hold the product in their hands and seeing how successful the company has been,” he said.
The modified controllers are available via the company’s web site as well as through online retailers like eBay and Amazon.
In addition to sporting an eye-catching paint job, the souped-up controllers can be customized to include internal enhancements to improve the gaming experience for customers, according to the winning business plan.
The second-place prize of $500 went to The King’s Academy students Sarah VanderWagen, Matthew Fritz and Ashley Stack for Urban Expressions, an online T-shirt company based in Palm Beach Gardens.
|UniqueModz founder Ashton Canada holds an example of his company's modified Xbox 360 controllers.|
The third-place prize of $250 went to another Seacrest Country Day School student, Kamrun Samadnejad, for a product called The Vault. His company produces cell phone software that disables the user’s phone for safety reasons while he or she is driving.
Serving as judges for the competition were Peter F. Bono, president of Peter F. Bono Wealth Planning Solutions Inc.; Mark Davis, vice president, senior private banker, BMO Private Bank; Jim Dullum, partner, Fieldstone Equity; Mike Ferdinandi, PBA Executive in Residence; Michael Merritt, tax manager, Templeton & Company; John Patten, vice president, wealth advisor, BMO Private Bank; Art Rainer, business administrator, First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach; and Rita Weller, owner and president, The Danica Group.
During the competition, students had a chance to participate in a giveaway for T-shirts, sweatshirts and an iPad.