Avenor Entrepreneurship Challenge is a special project designed within LOTC for 9th-grade students with the aim of putting learning into practice. Combining knowledge and skills acquired in class, students are invited to face the entrepreneurial challenge of launching a culinary product during a public presentation, held in front of a jury, classmates, and the audience who come to encourage them.

Victor Bratu – Teacher of Geography and ICT and project organiser, provides us with more details about this competition, which is slowly becoming a tradition for high school students.

What is the Avenor Entrepreneurship Challenge and what is the story behind this project?

The Avenor Entrepreneurship Challenge is a project that emerged in 2022 out of the need to create an engaging event for 9th-grade students as part of the LOTC programme.

Katie Hargreaves – Teacher of Media Studies and I brainstormed several options and outlined various plans until we arrived at this concept of an event that involves an entrepreneurial competition among students.

Last year, in 2023, we organised the first edition which brought together 9 teams consisting of 45 students. They had the following theme – ‘Create a healthy and natural product for breakfast,’ for which they had to develop a product from scratch. From market research to product development, packaging, marketing campaign, and presentation in front of a jury, the process was very challenging for the participating students, and the results exceeded expectations.

What was this year’s challenge for the participating students?

Staying true to the competition’s concept, this year the students were tasked with creating a healthy snack, either sweet or savoury, that fulfilled several conditions:

  • It had to have appropriate packaging – a skill learned in Design & Technology and Arts classes.
  • The proposed product needed to have a business plan behind it – created based on the knowledge acquired in Business Studies.
  • The product presentation had to include a marketing campaign – developed by applying the concepts learned in Media Studies.


Since not all students study the same subjects in 9th grade, teams were formed with 5 members, each with the skills and knowledge necessary to fill one of the following positions:

  • The CEO or team leader – responsible for developing the business plan.
  • The Chef – responsible for creating the product.
  • The Graphic Designer – responsible for designing the packaging, including creating the logo.
  • The Research Analyst – supports the team by researching the market and identifying audience preferences.
  • The Marketing Director – proposes the marketing plan.

Each team was given a budget of 200 lei, which represented the total budget to create the samples (product and packaging). Additionally, each team received clear guidelines on what constitutes a healthy product and the criteria it needed to meet.

How many teams entered the competition and how did the competition unfold?

This year, we had 8 teams that presented their products to a jury consisting of:

  • Diana Segarceanu – Executive Director – who evaluated the business plans.
  • Raluca Tarcea – Admissions and Communication Manager – who provided feedback on the packaging and marketing campaign components.
  • Valentin Brabete – Teacher of Economy and Media Studies – who evaluated the business plans.
  • Geanina Staicu – Food Blogger Jamila Cuisine  – who evaluated the products created by the teams.
  • Dan Neacșu – Chef at Avenor Living – who assessed the healthiness of each team’s proposed product.

The special guests for this edition were Cristina Willows – Executive Director of Avenor, and Andrei Roșu – Managing Partner of Filgud Romania.

The competition was fierce, and the emotions of the participating students were only surpassed by their determination to convince the jury that their product deserves to win the Avenor Entrepreneurship Challenge trophy.


After the questions from the jury and the final feedback, emotions reached their peak when the winning teams were announced:

🥇First place was won by the product ENERBIITZ3 prepared by the team consisting of Bogdan (9 ∆), Ilinca (9 α), Irina (9 ∆), Ilinca (9 α), Ion (9 ∆).

🥈Second place was won by the product Oatz prepared by the team consisting of Ioana (9 ∆), Anastasia (9 ∆), Alessia (9 α), Fanni (9 α), Răzvan (9 ∆).

🥉Third place was won by the product Natty Pops prepared by the team consisting of Ivonne (9 α), Alexandru (9 α), Sonia (9 α), Alexandru (9 ∆), Arianna (9 α).

I am very proud of all the teams participating in the competition. Their products were excellent, and the presentations in front of the entire audience exceeded expectations. The level of the competition is a clear sign that students are interested in entrepreneurship, which confirms to me that each year this event will be eagerly anticipated by our 9th-grade students.