Youth Entrepreneurship Winners Announced!
On Sunday, April 29th, LAUNCH CHA held its annual district-wide Youth Entrepreneurship Competition, Pitch It at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.
Pitch It is part of the LAUNCH CHA High School Entrepreneurship Program, which supports and empowers students through entrepreneurship education and a simulated startup experience. In each of the schools where LAUNCH CHA serves, students work in small groups to conceive of a business idea, create a simple business plan, and when appropriate a prototype. Through this program, students gain knowledge as well as skills in leadership, public speaking, critical thinking, and problem solving.
After working this semester with LAUNCH CHA facilitators and business mentors, thirteen teams from Tyner Academy, Red Bank High School, Brainerd High School and Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges. The winning teams were awarded a prize package of technology to help further their education, as well as a small cash prize.
Build A Better Me, a non-profit that focuses on helping job seekers gain confidence by providing pop-up shops with affordable professional hair/makeup services and business attire, was awarded first place. The team behind the idea hails from CGLA, and took home laptops and $1000 to be put towards moving forward on their business or to help with college expenses.
Second place was a team from Brainerd High School, with their product J JACK, a space and time saving “all-in-one” chest of drawers, with a built in iron, ironing board, and mirror. Each student that was a part of the team took home a Chromebook, and will split $800.
A team from Red Bank High School was awarded third place for their business idea Save Our Soles, biodegradable shower shoes to protect your feet from the bacteria and fungi that thrive in public showers. The team of three was awarded $200, and each student took home a tablet.
In addition to team prizes, teacher Mr. Gordon of Brainerd High School won $1000 for having the most folks in the audience there to support the Brainerd High School teams. Mr. Gordon has decided to purchase computers for his classroom with the prize money.
Teams were judged on how clearly they stated the problem their business was addressing, how clearly the solution to the problem was stated, the understanding of the startup costs and financials, as well as creativity of the pitch. The four judges were Kathy Lennon, Hamilton County School board member and Director of Chattanooga Workspace; Felicia Jackson, inventor and CEO of the CPR Wrap; Rebecca Feldbin, public relations and marketing specialist of The Bex Co.; Dr. David Banks, owner of Noble Success, LLC and Coordinator of Workspace development for the City of Chattanooga.
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