Upper School

BECon 2024 boasts largest attendance yet

This story was submitted by Lauren Lin, grade 11.

On Fri., March 15, Harker business and entrepreneurship students hosted the tenth annual BEcon, a business and economics event consisting of many workshops and experiences to help educate and inform students. The event was held in Nichols Auditorium with over 150 participants, making it the largest BEcon event to date.

BEcon started promptly at 3:30 with booths lining the Nichols atrium. Booths included Apple’s latest invention, Vision Pro, TEJA gummies, a multivitamin brand created by Harker junior Sriteja Kataru, Xbox, a Tesla Cybertruck, an Autism Awareness booth, Spyra Beauty, a social beauty platform, and Gyrene Engineering, a machine created for the military that converts air into water. Afterward, students gathered to listen to the keynote speaker Ya Xu, the Head of Data at LinkedIn, being interviewed by the Executive Director of BEcon Sanaa Bhorkar, grade 11.

“My favorite part of the event had to be the keynote speaker as she spoke a lot about her struggles just as much as her positive experiences which widened my view of the future and how it doesn’t always go perfectly,” said Ronica Khattri, grade 9.

After the keynote speaker, students had a ten-minute break before heading to their workshops, speakers including Mike Wallz, musician and entrepreneur, Saurav Paul, the head of supply operations at Nvidia, Anni Ankola, founder of Spyra Beauty, Real Identities founder Susan Dworak, venture capitalist Amit Mukherjee and Harker student entrepreneurs such as senior Cynthia Wang, Sriteja Kataru, senior Andrew Smith and more.

“I loved all the speakers I listened to. The workshops I went to really resonated with me and gave me more insight on the job I want to do in the future,” said Arav Vuppala, grade 9.

Students took a break at 6 for dinner kindly provided by Harker kitchen staff before reuniting once again at 6:45 for sHarker Tank, Harker’s take on the television show “Shark Tank,” in which three student-founded startups pitch their companies to a panel of judges for a monetary prize of one thousand dollars. This year, the competition was held between Curlosophy, a hair care brand, Wrap It, a teen-focused athletic bandaging brand, and Roobi, a tea company seeking to provide caffeine-free alternatives to a high schooler’s daily coffee or energy drink. This year, Roobi, founded by juniors Sam Parupudi, Daniel Dorfman and Vedant Balachandran managed to win the thousand-dollar grant. The conference concluded shortly after, and attendees were handed their very own BEcon portable charger on their way out.

“BEcon 2024 honestly surpassed all my expectations,” said senior Shreeya Merchia, executive director of BEcon, “Whether it was bringing in something as eye-catching as the Cybertruck, the stellar student-led workshops, or the polished pitches from Incubator students—I couldn’t be happier about the minutiae of it all. I’m so impressed by all of our team members and inexplicably grateful that my last BEcon was our best one yet.”

The Harker Magazine

Published two times a year, The Harker Magazine showcases some of the top news, leading programs, inspiring people and visionary plans of the greater Harker community.

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