Students from nine high schools throughout the Midwest will pitch their business ideas for a chance to win $25,000. The Next Launch, hosted by the Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur at Culver Academies, will feature presentations on a product, company or service and its market need.

The teams represent schools from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. The winning team will receive the $25,000 top prize, with the first runner-up receiving $10,000 and the second runner-up taking home $5,000.

Each team will conduct a five-minute pitch, with the finalists presenting a 10-minute pitch. They will make their presentations to a panel of judges, including entrepreneurship and business professors from Indiana University, Butler University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Illinois, and professional business leaders.

"We’re thrilled to host The Next Launch for the third year," said Alex Kurrelmeier, director of The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur. "The past two years we’ve seen incredible ideas from high school students, including a mobile application that would use an avatar to assist students with speech impediments, a feminine hygiene product that would cut waste and benefit lower-income women, and more. This level of competition provides students with real-world experience in teamwork, collaboration and research typically only found at the university level."

The high schools taking part in the competition include:

  • Cathedral High School (Indianapolis)
  • Noblesville High School (Indianapolis)
  • Shortridge IB Magnet School (Indianapolis)
  • International School of Indiana (Indianapolis)
  • Culver Academies (Culver)
  • Start Up Moxie Charter School (South Bend)
  • New Trier High School (Winnetka, Illinois)
  • Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (Aurora, Illinois)
  • Huron High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

The competition will take place Wednesday and Thursday. You can find more information on the event by clicking here.