NKY students among the winners of the annual Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs Demonstration Day competitions
The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) continued to push boundaries and reach new heights this summer by adding a second session to give 120 Kentucky teens, up from 72 in previous years, the opportunity to explore their minds. and to present their business start-up ideas at two very competitive Demo Days on June 26 and July 24.
Over 300 high school students have applied to participate in the two 2021 residential GSE sessions which took place June 6-26 and July 5-24 at Northern Kentucky University (NKU).
“I didn’t think Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs could get any more exciting, but they proved me wrong by growing and hosting not one but two days of demonstrations,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “Each year, these young entrepreneurs amaze me with their energy, creativity and enthusiasm during their incredible journeys. The most exciting part is that the GSE summer session is just the start for them as they return home and use what they have learned and their new connections to make Kentucky a better place to live. and work for the future.
Teams of students developed business models, designed prototypes and presented their startup ideas to NKU in front of a prestigious panel of entrepreneur judges and an audience of 300 at each of the Demo Day events. Out of 15 innovative startup ideas for a service or product developed during each session, three teams of teen entrepreneurs won cash prizes to continue their projects.
“As an educator, I am delighted to see the passion and growth that GSE is igniting in these young entrepreneurs during these short and intense summer sessions. The program often awakens a sense of exploration and the joy of discovering that continues long after summer is over. They learn and are inspired by mentors and peers who have the same passion as them for innovation, problem solving and competition. The old proverb that says “iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” is certainly true with GSE, “said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, who is also Kentucky’s cabinet secretary for education and government. workforce development.
The finalists for Demo Day 2021 were:
GSE Session 1 (June 6 – 26)
First place – BranchOut received $ 1,000 for the development of an app that connects high school students to education and career opportunities in Kentucky. The team members were Joleen Gima, a junior at Harry Doss High School in Jefferson County; Jessa Zaheri, a second year student at Scott County High School in Scott County; and Bella marita, a sophomore at Notre Dame Academy in Kenton County.
Second Place – Fill It Out received $ 750 to create a refillable laundry detergent system to reduce plastic waste while allowing families to use their favorite laundry detergents. The team members were Charlie gorman, a junior at Highlands High School in Campbell County; Jenna Coles, a sophomore at Logan County High School in Logan County; Parker Cleveland, a junior at Highlands High School in Campbell County; and Sarah Freeland, a second year student at Oldham County High School in Oldham County.
Third place – Secura received $ 500 for the development of an app that connects women instantly based on their location and needs, allowing them to take self-defense classes together and access other opportunities and tools to defend themselves against aggression. The team members were Avery Shacklette, a junior at Meade County High School in Meade County; King of the Savannah, a junior at Highlands High School in Campbell County; Jill Heffernan, junior at Sacred Heart Academy in Jefferson County; and Ella Stahl, a sophomore at Campbell County High School in Campbell County.
Demonstration Day Session 1 judges included Naashom Marx, Senior Director of Strategic Innovation at Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG); John Shaw-Woo, Founder and CEO of the Noir Black Chamber of Commerce; and Candice Matthews Brackeen, general partner at Lightship Capital. Sheena Allen, a 2019 Forbes 30 entrepreneur under 30 and founder of CapWay, was the keynote speaker.
Gima, participant in Session 1, said: “I learned what an entrepreneur is and what it means to be one. Sacrifice, failure and pivot, for me, all have new meanings. If you had asked me a year ago what the word “entrepreneur” meant, I would have had no idea! It’s so crazy to believe this because I am now the embodiment of an entrepreneur. Being in such a positive and uplifting environment, I came out of my shell and bonded for life. GSE has shown me my potential, and now it’s my turn to take what I’ve learned and make the most of it.
GSE Session 2 (July 5 – 24, 2021)
First place – TEHRA received $ 1,000 for the development of an online marketplace that allows consumers to choose from a variety of eco-friendly and sustainable home resources, from wood to light bulbs. The team members were Divine Irakiza, a sophomore at South Warren High School in Warren County; Charles Tompkins, a sophomore at Elizabethtown High School in Hardin County; McKenna Sun, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Fayette County; and Nathan Palley, a sophomore at Henry Clay High School in Fayette County.
Second place – Nexxus Bond received $ 750 to create a durable and secure cover for chemotherapy ports, allowing patients to move around with less fear of contracting an infection or damaging their port. The team members were Katherine Coale, a sophomore at Bethlehem High School in Nelson County; Riley Weber Horowitz, a junior at Campbell County High School in Campbell County; Colin Esmeier, a sophomore at Covington Catholic High School in Kenton County; and Ethan Biddle, a sophomore at Johnson Central High School in Johnson County.
Third place – SwimSafe received $ 500 for the development of a water safety educational organization that specifically targets children with autism and their affinity for water. The team members were Kendall Harper, a junior at Western Hills High School in Franklin County; Cole Chambers, a junior at the Christian Academy of Louisville in Jefferson County; Brenna Lambert, a freshman at Great Crossing High School in Scott County; and Ellie Thornsbury, a junior at duPont Manual High School in Jefferson County.
Demonstration Day Session 2 judges included Abby Ober, Program Manager at Blue North KY; Kayla Meisner, Head of Licensing and New Ventures at Kentucky Commercialization Ventures; and Mike Dutton of eGateway Capital. Nate Morris, founder of Lexington-based Morris Industries and its flagship asset www.KentuckyGSE.com.
Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs