Nine students from six southeastern Indiana counties pitched their business plans at a regional finals competition this weekend as part of a next-generation youth entrepreneurship initiative. The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce says more than 280 students from seven counties participated in the Maverick Challenge.
The competition was designed to expose high school students to the viability of a career in entrepreneurship. The students represented Bartholomew, Dearborn, Franklin, Jackson, Jennings, Monroe, and Scott counties in the event.
This year’s winners presented four ideas to a panel of judges. In first place, Jesse Kogge, Julia Layton, and Aidan Mahaffey of the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship & Bloomington High School North won $1,500 for their pitch, AR Odyssey. In second place, Trey Nebergall of Columbus North High School won $1,000 for his pitch, Aspire Group.
Challenge participants had to complete an online curriculum on business foundations to help develop a business plan.
This year’s Maverick Challenge regional winners include:
1st Place – AR Odyssey – Jesse Kogge, Julia Layton, & Aidan Mahaffey – Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship & Bloomington High School North, Monroe County
Business Idea: Hands-on computer science education app for 10-13 year old students that incorporates augmented reality.
2nd Place – Aspire Group – Trey Nebergall – Columbus North High School, Bartholomew County
Business Idea: Full service real estate media company that provides professional photography, video, drone, and 3D tours for real estate agents.
Judges’ Choice – Spotlight on Innovation – GutterButler – Madie Hoog & Lana Lischkge – Oldenburg Academy, Franklin County
Business Idea: Automatic rain-gutter opener designed to simplify life for cistern users and make owning a cistern more efficient.
Judges’ Choice for Research & Preparation – Sunset Vistas – Maggie Connell – Seymour High School, Jackson County
Business Idea: An independent retirement community in Seymour.
The Maverick Challenge regional finalists include:
Socially Grown – Devin Fluhmann – Lawrenceburg High School, Dearborn County
Business Idea: Helps businesses establish their brand on social media by creating social media posts for businesses and identifying social media trends.
Puplink – Ashley Miller – Scottsburg High School, Scott County
Business Idea: Sleek GPS dog collar connected to an app so that pet owners can be notified when their pet has left the designated area.