INDIANAPOLIS - The finals of the second annual Innovate WithIN pitch competition are underway in Indianapolis. Eleven finalists are pitching their businesses in hopes of winning or a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize, $10,000 toward a year of in-state tuition and mentoring and internship opportunities. The high school student competition drew nearly 160 pitches from over 80 high schools throughout the state, which Program Manager Candy Dodd tells Inside INdiana Business is a good sign.

More than 235 middle school students also registered for the program's new ideation sessions.

The finalists are:
 

  • LyfePack, led by Cameron Klein, Colten Mouzin and James Hancock at Rivet High School in Vincennes, developed a tech-integrated, kevlar backpack that promotes energy efficiency and improves student safety.
     
  • Kolt Electronic Solutions, led by Koltan Hauersperger and Brooks Wathen at Jennings County High School in North Vernon, plans to create a power line monitoring system that tracks voltage and detects obstructions and damages.
     
  • Urban Harvest, led by Jesse Kogge at the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship in Bloomington, plans to utilize indoor hydroponic farms and a vending machine-style distribution system to combat food deserts.
     
  • 3D Printing Filament Waste, led by Steven Bass, Austin Robinson and Daniel Joven at Greenfield-Central High School in Greenfield, developed a cost-effective recycling method for polymers used in 3D printing.
     
  • Calm Balm, led by Kaleigh Newton and Allison Santa Rita at Noblesville High School in Noblesville, created and marketed all-natural lip balms utilizing essential oils to relieve stress.
     
  • RearVue, led by Andrew Romes, Alex Termini and Faith Spencer at Hobart High School in Hobart, seeks to improve bicycle safety through a distance measurement sensor harnessing LED technology to warn cyclists of approaching vehicles.
     
  • Empathy Easel, led by Kristina Rea at Adams High School in South Bend, designed and packaged custom art kits allowing its customers to express their emotions through artwork.
     
  • Millie & Mabel, led by Lillian Herrmann at Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School in Manchester, created a line of homemade jewelry aimed at empowering Hoosier women and helping boost their confidence.
     
  • Other Side, led by Kaikeyi Paxton and Karissa Nielsen-Baker at Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis, developed custom office supplies for left-handed individuals.
     
  • Student Services, led by Isabel France, James Booth and Kallen Kelsheimer from Wabash High School in Wabash, started a business specializing in lawn care and other services for homeowners in northeast Indiana.
     
  • Puma Sips Coffee Shop, led by Zoey Lewis and Dawnyai Jones from Indianapolis Metropolitan High School in Indianapolis, launched an in-school, student-run coffee shop.