New Venture Creation Contest from the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of North Texas.
J. J. and his team members were the first high school group to win the New Venture Creation Contest in the prestigious entrepreneurship competition. They received the grand prize of $30,000 for the development of their winning project, "Forward Tutoring!"
Echaniz and his group composed of Stephanie Nguyen, David Chi, Shannon Lu, Brian Ng, Mitchell Powell and Mariko Nakamura, were the first high school group to win the New Venture Creation Contest in the prestigious entrepreneurship competition.
Echaniz said, "Forward Tutoring is an online nonprofit venture that provides two unique online services for under served students: free, one-on-one online tutoring and a student-oriented volunteer opportunity database. For every hour a student volunteers, he or she receives an equivalently valued amount of credits for online tutoring. We partner with local organizations and talented students to provide relevant volunteer opportunities."
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was the keynote speaker at the awards luncheon and area businessman Craig Hall was presented with the Murphy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship.
In 1999, two successful local entrepreneurs, Ken and Shirley Murphy, recognized the opportunity to help other entrepreneurs alleviate some of the problems they had to endure in starting their business. They used their Alma Mater, the University of North Texas, as the perfect opportunity to provide students with an entrepreneurial education. Their donation made it possible for the Murphy Enterprise Center to open at UNT in November of 2000.