Innovate WithIN, a statewide high school pitch competition run by the STARTedUP Foundation, has selected the top student innovators around the state. The finalists include winners of nine regional competitions held throughout the state, plus one wild card team, who will complete for up to $100,000.
The competition, which offers up to $100,000 in cash prizes, mentorship opportunities and in-state college tuition assistance, has added over $19 million in potential scholarships from eleven Indiana schools to the 2021 prize package. Over 800 students from 128 high schools participated in the first round of the pitch competition.
“I was amazed at how many students had already started their own businesses and were looking to scale up, while just about everyone was looking to solve relevant problems in the world,” STARTedUP Foundation President and founder Don Wettrick said. “What has set Innovate WithIN apart is that it is not a big idea contest, but truly a platform for students to build and scale their business ideas in Indiana.”
The students will be competing to win $10,000 to continue building their business, $10,000 for future education in a 529 plan and $5,000 toward their entrepreneurial, immersion trip experience.
The winners by region are:
Region 1 – Southwest Indiana Hosted by University of Evansville:
Emmett Bowman, Crawfordsville High School, EveryBody Clothing Brand
Description – Customizable Clothing line to support charitable causes. It strives to give people a push they need to move forward in life by donating some of its profits to those in need.
Region 2 – Southeast Indiana Hosted by Hanover College:
Zion Dunaway, Xavier Dunaway, Salem High School, Southern Indiana Bait Co LLC
Description – High quality and durable bait for recreational, semi-pro and pro-anglers.
Region 3 – West Central Indiana Hosted by Saint Mary-of-the-Woods:
Lauren Mitchell, Andrew Blessinger, Edgewood High School, Boost Box
Description – A subscription box to help combat teen mental health.
Region 4 – East Central Indiana Hosted by Earlham College:
Trey Nebergall, Columbus North High School, Aspire Group LLC
Description – Aspire Group provides professional photography, videography, drone, and 3D virtual tour services to real estate agents to help market their listings online.
Region 5 – Lower Northwest Indiana Hosted by Purdue University Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship:
Nimish Bhat, Carmel High School, Omega Skin
Description – A burn crisis remedy for under developed countries.
Region 6 – Northwest Indiana Hosted by Purdue University Northwest:
Allison Bradford, Hobart High School, Cramps Revamped
Description – Through stylish and versatile leggings, Ovar-ease is the first pair of leggings designed to eliminate painful cramps using a comfortable high-rise compression waistband with heat technology.
Region 7 – North Central Indiana Hosted by the IDEA Center at Notre Dame & RISE | Regional Innovation & Startup Education:
Gadiel Montiel, Concord Community High School, Sheap
Description – A virtual extension that will search the entire web for competitive prices and coupons to help consumers find the best deal on their purchases.
Region 8 – Northeast Indiana Hosted by Purdue University Fort Wayne:
Sydney Hefty, Matthias Hefty, DeKalb High School, Acacia Ranch Show Goats
Description – Produce affordable show goats to not only benefit community members, but also feed the nation.
Region 9 – Central Indiana Hosted by Marian University:
Krishna Thiru, Emma Hamilton, Isaiah Branam, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School/Zionsville Community High School, FIA
Description – An artificial intelligence driven social media that aids companies in the applicant recruitment & vetting process by utilizing leading-edge predictive machine learning.
Aidan Mahaffey, Jesse Kogge, Julia Layton, The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship and Bloomington High School North, AR Odyssey LLC
The state competition will be held June 19 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis.