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Apr 09, 2018

Innovate WithIN

High school students across Indiana gathered in Indianapolis for the final round of the state’s inaugural Innovate WithIN competition, pitching their ideas to a panel of judges from Indiana’s entrepreneurial community. After advancing through two rounds of the pitch competition, Educaid from Noblesville High School was named the overall winner of the statewide high school pitch competition hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Indiana Department of Education (DOE) and Ball State University.



"Competitions like Innovate WithIN inspire Indiana's future entrepreneurs to draw upon their creativity, communication skills and problem-solving skills to pitch original ideas to real business professionals," said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. "We're proud of all the students who participated in today's competition. I know they will be the ones to lead our state to even greater success in the future."


 
Led by Colin Wareham and Jackson Ramey at Noblesville High School, they created board games to help Hoosier students learn business concepts like marketing and management. The team will receive $10,000, one year of college tuition at a state institution, mentoring services and internship opportunities.

Educaid, along with all nine finalists, will receive mentoring services through the StartEdUp Foundation, founded by Don Wettrick, Hunter Stone and Jeremy Miller, which focuses on engaging students and teachers through innovation and entrepreneurship in the classroom. Don is an innovation specialist teacher at Noblesville High School, and Hunter and Jeremy are well-known entrepreneurs with years of experience in the private sector. In partnership with the IEDC, StartEdUp will create an accelerator program for the Innovate WithIN state finalists, helping them develop and execute their ideas as well as providing access to co-working spaces, and the company’s network of mentors and advisors from Indiana’s entrepreneurship community.

“Ball State University is proud to partner with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Indiana Department of Education to participate in the state’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, spearheaded by Governor Holcomb," said Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns. "It is fitting for a university to participate — we were founded by entrepreneurs and we are now propelled by an innovative, immersive approach to education. Ball State is proud to help shape the lives of these young innovators, and we gladly partner with organizations that support the belief that innovation and entrepreneurship help the state sustain economic success.”

In a tie for second place, NetWork, led by Tiana Mudzimurema at Adams High School in South Bend, and Mini Mammals, led by Morgan Spade at DeKalb High School in Waterloo, will each receive $2,500. In third place, Romantique, led by Sarah Rollins and Sophie Kreis at Brownstown Central High School in Brownstown, will receive $1,500.

The other finalists, who were honored with certificates of achievement, included:

Heat It, led by Isabel Miller at Rivet High School in Vincennes

On the Road Mobile Mechanics, led by Zachary Storms, Hunter Tomey and Cadie Honaker at Sullivan High School in Sullivan

Them University, led by Nate Spell, a homeschooled student in Muncie

V&T Marketing, led by Max Vance at Kankakee Valley High School in Wheatfield

Guard Me Gear, led by Lesley Howard, Bernard Spencer and Kelly Gabino at Arlington Community High School in Indianapolis

“Each day great teachers across Indiana create the kind of innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in their students that will shape the future of communities, our state, and country,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The Innovate WithIN Pitch Competition is a great platform for students to showcase these skills. I am proud of our talented students and those who have supported them."

Innovate WithIN is Indiana's first statewide high school pitch competition, drawing 86 online applications from more than 290 Hoosier students at over 65 high schools. Students were asked to submit an idea for a business, product, service or other venture that helps identify Indiana as the best place to start and grow a business or sustain its economic momentum. After completing video pitches and regional competitions, the nine finalists, representing DeKalb, Delaware, Hamilton, Jackson, Jasper, Knox, Marion, St. Joseph and Sullivan counties, were invited to Indianapolis to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. 

The judges of today's competition were Dave Roberts, chief innovation officer of the IEDC; Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC; John McDonald, CEO of ClearObject; John Thompson, chairman and CEO of Thompson Distribution Company; Krystal Geyer, assistant director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State; and Ted Baker, CEO and executive director of Innovation Connector.
 
As part of Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda to make Indiana a hub for innovation and develop a 21st century skilled and ready workforce, the state is committed to helping cultivate innovative ideas in the classroom. The Innovate WithIN pitch competition fosters an entrepreneurial spirit among our leaders of tomorrow, empowering students to hone their innovative thinking.

 
 
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