Wabash County students dominate regional INnovate WithIN pitch competition

Wabash County students dominate regional INnovate WithIN pitch competition Main Photo

6 Apr 2022

Wabash County, IN – Innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit are thriving in our Wabash County classrooms! The STARTedUP Foundation recently announced that all 10 spots in the regional round of the Innovate WithIN statewide business pitch competition were clinched by Wabash County student teams.

The following student businesses will represent Wabash County at the regional competition on Friday, April 22, at Purdue Fort Wayne:

  • Curia - Maddison Hunter; Southwood Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Lockett – Joseph Bland, Grant Holloway; Jacob Marlow; Brayden Smith; Southwood Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Promise – Ashley Lyons; Northfield Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Just Breathe – Paulette Martin; Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School
  • SPROUT- Lacey Pierce, Kindra Stetzel; Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Old Timey Grips – Jared Richards; Southwood Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Eliza Grace – Annie Schuler; Heartland Career Center
  • Cardboard – Joshua Steely; Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School
  • CEC Services – Eli Edmond, Coltyn Sellers; Wabash High School
  • Easy Weights – Simon zur Nieden; Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School

The top winners of the regional competition on April 22 will advance to the state pitch competition on Friday, June 10, at Butler University, where the students will have the chance to win up to $25,000 in funding for their business and $10,000 towards a 529 college savings account for each member of the winning team.

“We are so grateful for our many university partners who not only support the program, but provide financial resources for young people interested in pursuing further education,” said Don Wettrick, CEO of The STARTedUP Foundation. “The Innovate WithIN pitch competition is just the start of challenging students to explore new opportunities and think outside the box as they look to the future.”

Grow Wabash County has spearheaded many initiatives to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the classroom through the development of the Wabash County High School Entrepreneurship Collaborative. In recent years, Grow Wabash County has provided funding and materials to every Wabash County high school to implement a streamlined entrepreneurship curriculum through the CO.STARTERS Generator program and to launch northeast Indiana’s first chapter of the STARTedUP Club, a county-wide high entrepreneurship club that meets monthly.  

“We are consistently astounded by the level of innovation and passion that we see from our student entrepreneurs in Wabash County,” Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County, said. “Grow Wabash County knows that these enterprising students will be a key to the future growth and success of Wabash County and we are committed to ensuring that our communities continue to support and foster these innovative ideas and businesses.”

Many of these Wabash County student entrepreneurs will also be taking center stage at the Eagles Theatre on May 4 for Grow Wabash County’s INnovate Wabash County student pitch competition. There, students will present their pitches to a panel of local business owners, mentors and professionals for the chance to win scholarships and cash prizes.

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