Local students to pitch big ideas at INnovate Wabash County

Local students to pitch big ideas at INnovate Wabash County Main Photo

26 Apr 2022

Wabash County, IN  – Grow Wabash County is excited to, once again, host an impressive group of student entrepreneurs from each Wabash County high school for the 2022 INnovate Wabash County student pitch competition on Wednesday, May 4, at the Eagles Theatre.

This year’s “Shark Tank” style pitch competition will feature 16 student teams presenting their innovative ideas for businesses and products to a panel of local business experts and mentors that will provide feedback about their pitch presentations and ask questions about the future and profitability of their proposed business ideas.

The top four winners will receive cash prizes to be used to invest further in their business ideas or in their education.

Past winners for this event include Lillian Hermann, whose accessory retail business Millie&Mabel enjoys continued success, and Alix Winer, who runs Bizzy Bees Apiary with partner Landon Topliff, which has grown to include dozens of hives and has since expanded to include bee husbandry services and a diverse stock of products made from their honey and beeswax.

“Every year, Grow Wabash County and our esteemed panel of judges are blown away by the ideas presented to us by local student entrepreneurs,” Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County, said. “We are proud to see that many of the ideas these students bring to the competition eventually translate into profitable businesses that provide important services and products. We are especially excited to see how they will continue to innovate and make an impact on the Wabash County business community.”

This year’s judges for the pitch competition will include: John Hoffman, entrepreneur and former SCORE mentor; Keith Gillenwater, Grow Wabash County; Lisa Gilman, Wabash Woollen Works; Joe Messer, Manchester University; and Wes Shie, NE Indiana Small Business Development Center.

The INnovate Wabash County pitch competition is the centerpiece of the Wabash County High School Entrepreneurship Collaborative, developed by Grow Wabash County, in partnership with local educators, students and the Don Wood Foundation. The intention of the Collaborative is to promote entrepreneurship in the classroom and start to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs that will spark growth and innovation in Wabash County, and beyond!

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