Vincennes Team Wins Innovate WithIN Competition

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Each member of the winning team earned $10,000. Each member of the winning team earned $10,000.

A team of students from Rivet High School in Vincennes has won the second annual Innovate WithIN pitch competition. LyfePack, which created a tech-integrated kevlar backpack that promotes energy efficiency using solar panels, earned $10,000 for each of the team's three members. The first place finish also earned team members $10,000 toward one year of in-state tuition, mentoring services through the StartEdUp Foundation and internship opportunities.

LyfePack was among 11 finalists competing for the grand prize by pitching their ideas Thursday to a panel of judges. The team also won the People's Choice Award by receiving the most votes during the Innovation Showcase earlier in the day in which they were able to display their idea to the public.

Second place went to Calm Balm, created by a team from Noblesville High School that created and marketed all-natural lip balms utilizing essential oils to relieve stress. Each team member earned $2,500.

RearVue, led by a team from Hobart, took home third place and $1,500 for each team member. RearVue seeks to improve bicycle safety through a distance measurement sensor harnessing LED technology to warn cyclists of approaching vehicles.

The team included Faith Spencer, who told Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman the competition taught her a lot.

"The most important thing (was) teamwork and learning good stress-relieving tips because it can be really stressful at times because sometimes people don't want to work the way you want them to work," said Spencer. "You realize you all came from a different background and maybe they don't learn or do things the way that you grew up doing it, so you have to be able to have patience to work with other people and realize that by the end of the day, we're going to get the goal accomplished."

Spencer says her team comes from an engineering background and they hope to use the competition to seek and find mentors and potential partnerships to help them with the business aspect of their company. 

The StartEdUp Foundation will create a student accelerator to help each finalist team develop and execute their ideas and provide access to the company's network of mentors and advisers. 

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