NEWTON, Mass. - Briana Muller of Berlin represented Berlin High School and Lasell College in the national finals of the FedEx Junior Business Challenge, during which she and her team, “Lo-K8,” took top honors and the grand prize of $75,000 to support the Junior Achievement program of Southwest New England.
Muller, a freshman fashion merchandising student at Lasell College, began her journey with Junior Achievement as a senior in high school. Through the rounds of competition, she and her teammates worked to develop their business idea: a Bluetooth device capable of tracking easily lost items such as keys, dubbed “Lo-K8.”
The team took on its first round of competition at the PGA golf tournament in Connecticut and moved on to the national finals in Atlanta, where they faced off against four other finalist teams of JA student entrepreneurs.
Each team was judged by a panel including athletic celebrities and local business affiliates Hines Ward and Patrick Reed, along with Jenny Robertson of Dream Beard, Peggy Loos of The Coca-Cola Co., and Ryan Lane, a FedEx Small Business Grant recipient.
“When we won first place, my teammates and I were full of tears and joy. (JA Connecticut President) Jeremy Race told us that it was the state’s first time winning money put toward them,” said Muller. “I could not have been happier to hear that. The money is going to give JA Connecticut a chance to allow more schools around the state to participate in the program.”