DECA GARAGE at WRLC

What is the DECA Garage? 

Think startup incubator meets Kickstarter meets Shark Tank meets $1,000 grand prize all happening live at the Western Region Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California exclusively for DECA members. 

The DECA Garage is an entrepreneurial competition for DECA students and chapters (school-based enterprises), who have a business concept, are in the startup phase, or operate an existing business.

DECA students will plan, perfect, and promote their business concept with personal mentorship from Shark Tank Winner and Entrepreneur of the Year Jason Lucash. 

Jason Lucash graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2006 with a degree in Managerial Economics. He launched his first business as a third-grader in the San Francisco suburb of Danville, California and has had the same entrepreneurial spirit since then. 

In his early career, Jason successfully ran various marketing campaigns for Major League Soccer and later JanSport, where he increased their collegiate business by 50% in over three years. He also has experience implementing marketing strategies for Ebay, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Kodak and other Fortune 500 companies. 

In August 2009, Jason and his business partner Mike Szymczak launched OrigAudio, which is now recognized worldwide. Jason has also received accolades and awards such as Time Magazine’s “50 Best Inventions of the Year,” Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year,” and INC. Magazine “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” list.  Lucash currently lives in California where he heads OrigAudio’s corporate office and still travels for fun as he continues to expand the business.


HOW THE DECA GARAGE WORKS

PHASE 1: APPLY

DECA-preneurs attending WRLC can apply through DECAWRLC.org/DECAGarage to be accepted into the DECA Garage program. 

[Due by October 24]

PHASE 2: BUILD OUT IN THE INCUBATOR

Selected DECA-preneurs will join entrepreneurship expert Jason Lucash for in-depth coaching on how to develop a compelling business plan to guide their enterprise and learn how to successfully pitch their concept! 

[Onsite training: Thursday evening, November 15 and Friday, November 16] 

PHASE 3: PITCH AT THE HUB

After one and half days of training and preparation, it’ll be time for DECA-preneurs to get set in Kickstarter mode and pitch their businesses live to fellow DECA members in The HubOver 1,000 DECA students will “fund” their favorite DECA Garage business concepts with their “DECA Dollars” and the top three picks will move on to the final round. 

[Saturday, November 17]

PHASE 4: DECA SHARK TANK SHOWDOWN

The top three DECA Garage businesses who received the most funding during Phase 3 will compete in the DECA Shark Tank. The DECA Shark Tank will take place live during the closing general session of WRLC in front of over 1,000 students and teachers. 

Each business will pitch their ideas on stage to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs and business moguls who will ask the tough questions and choose who will take home the $1,000 grand prize.

The audience members will be able to text their vote for their favorite business and the Sharks will be the final decision makers for who will take home the grand prize.