Wabash, IN (March 15, 2019) – Grow Wabash County is extremely proud to announce that seven of ten groups that advanced to the state of Indiana’s Innovate WithIN regional pitch competition were from Wabash County. The statewide competition, similar to the ABC series “Shark Tank,” is hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corp (IEDC), Indiana Department of Education, and Ball State University. Innovate WithIN gives high school students the opportunity to win thousands of dollars in award money and participate in educational opportunities. Groups of 1-3 individuals submitted video pitches for the first round. This year’s competition attracted 158 online submissions from 422 students, according to a recent IEDC news release. At the northeast regional competition held on Tuesday, March 12th Wabash County students won both 1st and 2nd place.
First place winner was Lillian Herrmann, a 15 year old from Manchester Junior-Senior High School. Herrmann is the founder/owner of Millie & Mabel, a jewelry company that aspires to empower young women to strive to be the best versions of themselves. She buys hypoallergenic materials from wholesalers then hand-crafts jewelry pieces and other items like hair ties that sell for
$3 to $15. Herrmann won a $1,000 cash prize and automatically advanced to the state competition to be held on April 4th in Indianapolis.
Second place winners from Wabash High School were Kallen Kelsheimer and James Booth with their business, Student Services. Student Services employs high school students with a vision to help individuals in Wabash County with tasks they don’t have time for or aren’t able to do. Whether it be yardwork, shoveling snow or offering moving services they seek to meet these needs while building relationships within our community. This team has a chance to advancement to the state competition as part of a wildcard voting contest. All second-place teams from throughout the nine regions will compete for the most vote to advance to the state competition. Individuals are encouraged to vote daily for Student Services from March 16-24, 2019 using a link that will be shared on the Facebook page @innovatewithinindiana beginning Saturday, March 16th.
Other Wabash County teams that advanced to regionals included:
Jennifer Robles, Selene Hernandez and Brenda Diaz-Deleon from Manchester Junior-Senior High advanced with the business idea called S.O.L. Stones. S.O.L. Stones is tech-based jewelry aimed to prevent human trafficking and kidnapping.
Benjamin Hewitt, Caleb Callahan and Trenton Daughtry from Wabash High School are developing an app called Diner Destination with the goal of making the decision of where to go out to dine easier.
Olivia Lindsay, Evelynn Gray and Lucia Peña of Wabash High School created Shop Fresh, a hand- crafted Eco.Fresh.Filter that helps eliminate produce food waste and strives to encourage healthy eating.
Naomi Justice with Heartland Career Center pitched her bakery, Na’s Bakes. She currently operates Na’s Bakes as a traditional bakery that specializes in allergy-free food products, including cakes, cupcakes and cookies.
Payton Deeter and Mason Yentes of Southwood High School pitched their business idea of creating Toothfairy Travels, a kit and innovative app combo that makes the job of the “Tooth Fairy” easier with automatic reminders and educational game rewards for children.