2020 Youth Entrepreneurial Academy Announces Pitch Competition Winners

The NIACC Pappajohn Center & SBDC hosted the Virtual Pitch Competition for the 2020 Youth Entrepreneurial Academy on Tuesday, August 11. The Youth Entrepreneurial Academy is sponsored by the John K. and Luise V. Hanson Foundation. The academy is offered annually and free to all high school students interested in entrepreneurship. Each participant receives a $500 NIACC scholarship sponsored by John Pappajohn.

This year, the Youth Entrepreneurial Academy operated with a hybrid model. Student entrepreneurs met 2-3 times per week via a Virtual Classroom, with some socially-distanced in-person team building and business networking activities in Mason City and Clear Lake, Iowa.

Throughout the academy, the young entrepreneurs worked diligently to progress a business model canvas. Students had the opportunity to network with local entrepreneurs, develop leadership skills, and gain fundamental skills required when starting a business. Tuesday August 11th, the final day of the academy the students pitched their business ideas by submitting an executive summary that included a company description, financial plans, and business model key measures that included startup costs and sales projections.

The judges chose four businesses to win an additional $300-600 seed money award. The winners are:

4th Place - Keanna Peterson & Sydney Neuhring, The Art Hub. A new model for bringing art classes and studio space to the community.
3rd Place - Cosima Munzi, Denim Switch. An eco-conscious, high-tech solution for trading out jeans you don't want, for jeans you do.
2nd Place - Matilda Lee, The Five. A collaborative approach to bringing the movies back to downtown Mason City and adding community value.
1st Place - Paige Rolling & Jillian Enke, Clear Lake Connected. Helping local businesses make the most of marketing opportunities with social media management.

Congratulations again to our 2020 student entrepreneurs! And many thanks to our business and community leaders, mentors, and judges for your involvement and assistance!

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