Real Ideas for Really Fun Products                                                             May 2011 

Dear Friends,

We had a great time visiting marketplaces in April!  We met so many extraordinary kids who were excited to be launching their businesses... so excited to tell their stories and pitch their products.  One question we always ask is "How did you get your business idea?"  ... and one answer we often hear is...

Family Fun Magazine.  WOW!  The ideas in the magazine are just wonderful.  They inspire... and then instruct!  Just what these kids need to make it happen, and make it happen WELL.   


My suggestion is that your school consider subscribing to the magazine.  Keep all the back issues- possibly even laminate the ideas you think are particularly marketable.  The kids can always go to their website (click here) to look when they are at home, but if at a workshop you have a child who is struggling to come hayley and pamelaup with an idea, a pile of these idea-packed magazines would surely do the trick!!

Thanks so much for all you do,
Pamela and Hayley
email us



Thomas Edison was much more than an inventor He was an entrepreneurial genius who was extraordinarily practical.  His every invention was intended to change people's lives and make him money.  Many of his most lucrative products were improvements on other people's inventions.  What an entrepreneur.  


Did You Know?


Did you know that Thomas Edison worked on electric car batteries in the early 1900s? He thought it would be the car of the future. His wife's favorite car to drive was a Detroit Electric. Today, Thomas Edison National Historical Park has three electric cars dating from 1908 to 1914.


Did you know that Edison was NOT the first to create a light bulb?  He made an incandescent bulb that burned long enough to be practical, long enough to light a home for many hours. Then he and his "muckers" invented the entire system needed to bring electricity into your home.


Edison earned 1,093 United States patents, a record number for one person that still stands.


Did You Know that West Orange, NJ, was the birthplace of motion pictures?  In 1893, Thomas Edison built the first building for the recording of motion pictures. It was dubbed THE BLACK MARIA. It got its name because it was large and black and looked like the police wagons of the day, which were called black marias.


Edison said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration!" These three inventions are considered Edison's greatest: the electric light system,  the phonograph and motion pictures.


His home and workshops are located in West Orange, NJ and if you've never visited, start planning! 


Visiting the Park

The Laboratory Complex is now open again. Explore 20,000 square feet of additional exhibit space, including two floors of the main laboratory building that has never before been open to the public.  Spend an hour or spend the day. The Laboratory is now a self guided experience so you can pick and choose what's interesting to you.  You can also visit the Glenmont Estate, home of Thomas and Mina Edison.


Edison Day 2011

Edison Day is Saturday, June 4th.  Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Activities will take place at both the Glenmont Estate in Llewellyn Park and the Laboratory Complex on Main Street.  Activities for everyone from 10:00am - 4:00pm with concert on the lawn of Glenmont (his home)at 6:00pm featuring Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.


For your TREP$ Team!
TREP$ Buttons


Thanks to a request from Carina in Cooperstown, we are now offering TREP$ Team Buttons for your Teachers and Parent Volunteers to wear at the Marketplace.  $20 for a dozen.

Click here to order, or request them when you order your workbooks and aprons.


Meet Hunter, owner of "AR Games"


My name is Hunter and I am an 11-yr old entrepreneur from Cedar Grove Middle School. This was the first year the TREP$ Marketplace took place at our school and lots of kids participated, so there was some tough competition. I considered opening several types of business before arriving at my final decision.  I originally thought I would brew and sell coffee at the TREP$ Marketplace, but then I learned we were not allowed to prepare food or drinks on site. So it was back to the drawing board.


I couldn't seem to come up with a business that I could get really excited about. Then my whole family spent one evening brainstorming different ideas to help me. My dad came up with one which I knew instantly was for me. He suggested I create and sell my own video games. We researched different websites that allow kids to create video games for free and found one that fit our needs. To keep expenses down, my dad thought I could even email the games to my customers, but I thought customers would prefer a CD with the games on it and nice packaging would help sell the product. That's how my business A.R. Games (A-Rated Games) was born!


The most fun part of the whole process for me was making the video games. Among the games I made were a driving game, a game that resembled Pac-Man, and a game similar to Fruit Thief. The biggest challenge I faced was working on a game I called Alien Destroyer. I just couldn't get the spaceship to shoot lasers on a straight horizontal. It kept shooting them at an angle. It took me nearly a week to figure it out and make it work the way I wanted.


It was much more work than I anticipated. It literally took a solid month to produce all the games  because there were a lot of steps involved. After I created the games, I had friends and family play them and provide feedback on how they could be improved. I created help screens that players could access by pressing the F1 button while playing. There was one final round of testing before burning the files to discs. We learned along the way that the files would not work on Macs. So that was something we needed to disclose in our advertising and packaging. I created original artwork for the covers of the CD cases, burned the discs, and put together the packaging for 100 CDs. To give my customers a really good value, I decided to sell 5 video games on a CD for $2.99.


My total expenses were $31.22 for Slim CD Storage Cases and 100-Pack Spindle of CDs to put the games on. Since my CDs would sell for $2.99 each, my breakeven point would be 11 games sold. I told all my friends about my product and got a lot of "pre-orders" for the game. I was confident that I would be able to reach my breakeven point.


The night of the TREP$ Marketplace it was really hot, and I was glad I was not selling hot coffee that night! I brought a mini laptop computer with me so that I could demo the games for my customers. People who visited my booth said my business was a very cool and unique idea. That kept my spirits up, which I needed since sales were slow to start. As the night went on, business picked up and at times I had a crowd of people gathered around my booth watching me demo my software on my laptop. Before I knew it, I surpassed my breakeven point. Half the people who stopped by said they were going to come back later, but they didn't. I know I lost a lot of sales because many people use Macs these days, but I knew that going in.


In the end, my sales revenue was $135. I sold 45 CDs and made a profit of nearly $104. One of my teachers even bought a disc for her kids. I had a really good experience creating my own business and I plan on participating in TREP$ again next year. I'm already thinking up ways to expand my business. I'll build upon what I learned this year to create even more exciting video games and/or expansion packs for my existing video games.

Meet Michael and Christopher, craftsmen.


My name is Michael Luberto and my good friend and partner's name is Christopher Ulmer. We are in the 5th grade at Westbrook Elementary School in West Milford, NJ. Friday April 29, 2011 we had our first Trep$ marketplace.

This was a very sentimental project for us. My partner Chris had been doing wood burning with his grandfather since he was nine years old. His grandfather taught him everything he knew and they spent a lot of time and bonding doing this together. Chris's grandfather has recently passed away. He left him all of his wood burnings and supplies. So, when the flyer came home from school about the upcoming Trep$ Marketplace we knew we should do this as our business to honor Mr Ulmer. That's how our first Trep$ business began.

Chris worked with me and taught me how to wood burn as this was the first time I had ever done it. We went with our parents to the craft store and picked up non stained, non-decorated wood items. For example, frames, birdhouses, little boxes and plaques. They ranged in prices from $1-$5.  We also bought little flowers, butterflies and sailboats that we made magnets out of and sold for $1- $3. We split the products in half and each worked on our own stuff since we both had our own great ideas. We wood burned them, colored them with colored pencils, stained some things with a stain marker and then clear coated everything for a nice glossy shine and finish.

At the close of the marketplace we had made a lot of money. Unfortunately this didn't cover our start- which were too high, so we didn't make a profit or even enough to cover all of our expenses. But, we realize that we bought too much wood supplies. Next time we will buy less. We just didn't want  to run out and being this was our first time we didn't know how much we needed. There is an upcoming flea market in our town that we will try to sell the rest of our stuff.

Even though we didn't make a profit we still had a lot of fun and learned a lot about different aspects of starting up and running a business, including how to compromise with your partner and put your own individual ideas together to make a great final product. This ended up being a very positive experience for both of us and we can't wait for next year's marketplace with the hopes that we can use this experience to make it an even better experience and have a better outcome. Unfortunately, loss is sometimes a good lesson to learn from.


In the Press


In the Press


Upcoming Marketplaces 

Come see the crowd,   

hear the buzz,

listen to the sales-pitches,  

and feel the ENERGY!   



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

St Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy,
Wayne, NJ

Thursday, May 19, 2011  
Sahara Mall
Riyadh, SA


Friday, May 20, 2011
Frankford Twp School
Frankford, NJ

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Sahara Mall
Riyadh, SA

Saturday, June 4, 2011
Wilson School
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Green Hills School
Green, NJ

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Fredon School
Fredon, NJ

Be sure to send us your Marketplace submission
so that we can include it on our calendar!

TREP$ Banners Now Available!

Due to popular demand, we've added TREP$ Banners to our line of products!  There are a few options.  This one is 2.5'x6' and fits beautifully into this inexpensive banner stand. 

Click here  to request more information on banners.


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In This Issue
Thomas Edison
Meet Hunter
Meet Michael and Christopher
In... Cooperstown, NY
In... Florida, NY
Upcoming Marketplaces
In... Future CEO Stars Mag!
Web TV Series
New to TREP$?
Watch a video about TREP$

Visit our Website

Read Newspaper Articles about TREP$ Schools

Ask Us a Question

Order TREP$ for your school

Future CEO Stars Magazine
'TREP Marissa featured in
Future CEO Stars Magazine

Congratulations to Marissa, one of the many TREP$ who are using entrepreneurship to benefit a worthwhile cause. 

Click here to open the online magazine, a product of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education and read the article about her experience as a social entrepreneur is on page 6.


We would like to thank the following organizations for their ongoing support:

Consortium Logo
WebTV Series Profiles Real Entrepreneurs
TREP Life TV Series

The "Trep Life" WebTV series gives viewers a unique, 360-degree view of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.


The premier episode features Matt Maloney and Mike Evans, co-founders of GrubHub.


Click here 

to watch the first episode.


TREP$ Schools
Lakeside Middle School
Pompton Lakes, NJ

Macopin MiddleSchool

West Milford, NJ

Memorial Middle School

Cedar Grove, NJ
Maugham Elementary
Tenafly, NJ
Smith Elementary
Tenafly, NJ
Stillman Elementary
Tenafly, NJ
Ryerson School
Wayne, NJ
St Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy
Wayne, NJ
Youth Express
St Paul, MN
Cedar Hill School
Towaco, NJ
Califon School
Califon, NJ
Oxford Central School
Oxford, NJ
Schuyler Colfax School
Wayne, NJ
Frankford Twp School
Frankford, NJ
Sussex Avenue School
Morristown, NJ
Clarke County School District
Atlanta, GA
Golden Hill Elementary
Florida, NY
Jawahir Al Riyadh Int'l School 
Riyadh, SA
Future Window Int'l School
Riyadh, SA
Al Ghad School
Riyadh, SA
Wilson School
Mountain Lakes, NJ
Edgemont School
Montclair, NJ
Ridgewood Ave School
Glen Ridge, NJ
Richard Butler Middle School
Butler NJ
West Hall Middle School
Oakwood, GA 
Gilmour Academy Lower School
Gates Mills, OH
Kingdom School
Riyadh, SA
Najd School
Riyadh, SA
King Khaled Int'l School,
Riyadh, SA
The Star School,
Flagstaff, Arizona
Lecole Soleil Levant,
New Brunswick, Canada
Mackay Elementary,
Tenafly, NJ
Tumeh Family Home School
Bluff, UT
Cooperstown MS,
Cooperstown, NY
JFK Elementary,
Wayne, NJ
Lounsberry Hollow,
Vernon, NJ
UGL School,
Hewitt, NJ 
Al Yasmin Int'l,
Riyadh, SA 
Yara Int'l School,
Riyadh, SA
Cobb Cnty District,
Cobb Cty, GA
New MiddleEast Int'l,
Riyadh, SA 
Fredon School,
Fredon, NJ 
Reverend Brown,
Sparta, NJ
White Rock School,
Jefferson, NJ 
Lafayette School,
Lafayette, NJ 
Stillwater School,
Stillwater, NJ 
Marshall Hill,
West Milford, NJ
Green Hills School,
Green, NJ 
Maple Road School,
West Milford, NJ 
Westbrook School,
West Milford, NJ 
Haledon School,
Haledon, NJ
Birchwood School,
West Nyack, NY 
Euclid School,
Hasbrouck Hts, NJ 
Holy Spirit,
Pequannock, NJ 
McKeown School,
Hampton, NJ 
Walter T Bergen MS,
Bloomingdale, NJ 
Paradise Knoll,
Oak Ridge, NJ


New to TREP$?
With the mission of empowering each child with an entrepreneurial mindset, TREP$ is working to improve the futures of today's youth.

TREP$ (short for enTREPreneurS), is an after-school program in which children in grades 4-8 are taught everything they need to know to start their own businesses in about 6 weeks. The program ends with a large scale flea-market style event called The TREP$ Marketplace, giving the new entrepreneurs the opportunity to launch their businesses, selling real products to real customers for real money! Talk about a motivating experience.

Winner of NJPTA'S Champion for Children Award, TREP$ is helping many schools around the world teach important skills while engaging and motivating the children.  The program has been featured on NJN's Classroom Close-Up as well as ASCD's Education Update.

Link to TREP$ Website
Link to Classroom Close-Up
Link to Education Update




Use of the TREP$ name without our permission is illegal.  If you would like items with TREP$ on them please ask us and we will look into offering them.  This is how the aprons, calculators, banners and buttons became available.  To be fair to you, we make them VERY affordable.  Please be fair to us and respect our trademarked name.  (One exception- signage to publicize the marketplace.  Go For It!  Even though we offer banners, you have our permission to make signs to bring in a crowd!)