Five finalists from six counties in southeastern Indiana recently presented their ideas for a chance at winning $2,750 as part of the next-generation youth entrepreneurship initiative known as the Maverick Challenge.
The Maverick Challenge program is designed to give high school students hands-on experience in the practice of entrepreneurship. Students from Bartholomew, Scott, Jennings, Jackson, Franklin, and Ripley counties took part in the regional competition. It was started in 2008 by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Columbus. Since then, over 1,000 students from more than 15 high schools across eight counties have participated in the Challenge and over $75,000 has been awarded to students.
Organizers say that finalists presented their ideas to a panel of regional judges consisting of entrepreneurs, service providers, educational representatives, and other community leaders.
2018-2019 Maverick Challenge Winners
1st Place- P.E.F.F. Co-Treyton Brown and Sam Everett- Scott County;
Business Idea: Created a quality farm animal feed, using biodegradable burlap bags, with premium quality ingredients while lower the cost to the consumers and farmers.
2nd Place- Kolt Electronic- Koltan Hauersperger and Brooks Wathen- Jennings County;
Business Idea: Created a system called “PLSS” (Power Line Safety System) to help regulate the voltage in power lines and stop the flow if there is a drop. Helping to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated with power line malfunction.
Honorable Mention- Growing Memories- Alex Bamonte- Franklin/Ripley County;
Business Idea: Created a business for those looking for alternatives to traditional burial services when a loved one dies. Custom memory vessels that also allow their loved ones and pets to be remembered.
TempSense- Emils Vigants, Krista Blackburn, Kiersten Meister- Hauser High School;
Business Idea: Created a product and service that will help kids get interested in computer science.
The Blue Rose Project- Katie Rohlfing- Brownstown High School;
Business Idea: Created a non-profit mobile organization that helps young girls improve self-esteem, image, and self-worth.