Student entrepreneurs win big at INnovate Wabash County competition

Wabash County, IN __Ideas and innovation were the stars of the show on Wednesday, April 28, as student entrepreneurs from every Wabash County high school took the stage at the Eagles Theatre to compete in the 2021 INnovate Wabash County pitch competition hosted by Grow Wabash County.

Over the course of the day, student entrepreneurs presented their ideas to the panel of judges that included:

  • John Hoffman, Experienced Small Business Owner and Business Advisor
  • Professor Joe Messer, experienced entrepreneur, executive, and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Manchester University
  • Lisa Gilman, Local Entrepreneur and owner of Redemption Development and Wabash Woollen Works
  • Wes Shie, Regional Director Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center
  • Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County

“We are constantly astounded by the ideas and proposals our local students come up with in their classes to present to our panel of business professionals,” Gillenwater said. “Grow Wabash County is especially excited to provide support and guidance to these student entrepreneurs as they take the next steps into making these ideas full-fledged businesses that both employ and serve the Wabash County community.”

After a full day of pitches and presentations, the judges selected the top four teams each of which received a cash prize that Grow Wabash County and the team of judges hope the students will use to further develop and grow their businesses.

The winning teams were:

  • 4th place: Candor, apparel company to promote mental health, Manchester Jr. – Sr. High School students Morgan Austin and Kolby Haecker.
  • 3rd place: Arklight Historical Tours, LLC, Wabash history tours, Northfield Jr. – Sr. High School students Ethan Galbraith, Keaton Stout and Clay Herring.
  • 2nd place: Tackett Auto Detailing, auto detailing and service business, Northfield and Heartland Career Center student, Heath Tackett.
  • 1st place: Bizzy Beez, apiary that sells honey and offers bee-related services, Southwood Jr. – Sr. High School student, Alix Winer.

Grow Wabash County and the many partners that have helped make entrepreneurship a priority in our local schools were proud to see the passion and innovation that radiated from all of the business plans and pitches presented during the competition.