Business ideas

Student entrepreneurs receive funding for business ideas

Nine college students from six southeastern Indiana counties pitched their business plans at a regional final 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 at the event.

This year’s winners presented four ideas to a jury. In first place, Jesse Kogge, Julia Layton and Aidan Mahaffey from the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship and Bloomington High School North won $1,500 for their presentation, AR Odyssey. In second place, Trey Nebergall of Columbus North High School won $1,000 for his pitch, Aspire Group.

Challenge participants were required to complete an online business fundamentals program to help develop a business plan.

Regional winners of this year’s Maverick Challenge include:

1st place – AR Odyssey – Jesse Kogge, Julia Layton and Aidan Mahaffey – Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship and Bloomington High School North, Monroe County
Business idea: practical application for teaching computer science for students aged 10 to 13 that integrates 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 – Innovation Spotlight – GutterButler – Madie Hoog & Lana Lischkge – Oldenburg Academy, Franklin County
Business Idea: Automatic gutter opener designed to make life easier for cistern users and make cistern ownership more efficient.

Judges’ Choice for Research and Preparation – Sunset Vistas – Maggie Connell – Seymour High School, Jackson County
Business idea: A community of independent retirees in Seymour.

Regional Maverick Challenge finalists include:

Socially Developed – 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.

Puppy Bond – Ashley Miller – Scottsburg High School, Scott County
Business Idea: Stylish GPS dog collar connected to an app so pet owners can be notified when their pet has left the designated area.

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