TAMPA, Fla. — Students at Jefferson High School in Tampa are looking to achieve their dreams, one step at a time. They have come up with an award-winning business plan that could change the way we power buildings.
Abdiel Navarro and Alejandro Montada wanted to develop a plan that would change the world. They didn’t have to look any further than their own hallways.
“And we’re doing that with something we do every day, which is walking. So we are taking footsteps and turning it into energy,” said Navarro.
Navarro and Montada are part of the school’s Virtual Enterprises class. They've been counseling with mentors from the real business community to develop a virtual company.
“Right now our core team, we have about 10 students working on this project, and we’ve been in and out working on our marketing side, our sales side, our HR side,” said Navarro.
They are calling their company, Ran Energy.
“We are always going to need energy one way or another and unfortunately right now we are just doing it in a way that is not sustainable,” said Montada.
Their plan is to use special floor tiles to harness and store renewable, kinetic, energy every time someone steps on them. They are optimistic these tiles could collect enough energy to power high trafficked buildings like malls, airports and schools.
“Every person is producing 10 watts of energy so you can imagine a little strip of International Mall with energy tiles, hundreds of thousands of people walking through every day,” said Montada.
The team’s ambition has already landed them first place for the VE Central Florida State Business Plan Competition.
They hope to be an inspiration to high school students everywhere.
“We are trying to show that even here at a high school level we’ve been able to come up with something using our resources, the Internet, all these things that we can research, and find out what the world needs to make an impact and make a change,” said Navarro.
The students are now raising money to travel to New York City in April for the national competition.
“Hopefully if we do win the New York national competition we can have investors and the prize fund from the competition start off our company and we can then transition it into a real-world company and start operations as any other normal company,” said Montada.