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Mason City and Clear Lake students win awards at NIACC Pappajohn Center’s Youth Entrepreneurial Academy

MASON CITY – The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center conducted the Youth Entrepreneurial Academy on June 13-17 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. Participants receive a $500 NIACC scholarship sponsored by John Pappajohn. This year’s academy included 5 high school students. The aspiring entrepreneurs completed the academy which is held as a day camp from 8:30am-4:00pm.

The participants and schools represented were:

Eliot Chute – Clear Lake High School

Jillian Harriman – Mason City High School

Josh Hanson – Newman High School

Christopher Molander – Clear Lake High School

Avery Williams – Home School

Throughout the entire week, 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, June 22, 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. Additionally, five students received a $500 seed money award for the businesses they developed during the week.

The Academy’s director and mentor was Kelley O’Rourke, School Partnership Entrepreneurial Coordinator at the Pappajohn Center. The facilitator was Candi Karsjens, Pappajohn Center Director, and Tom Moore, Director of Innovation and Acceleration at the Pappajohn Center. Mentors included: Camille Urban, retired patent attorney and consultant; Maddie Kollasch, YEA Alum, Newman Catholic graduate, NIACC student and CEO Club President.

Guest speakers for the week were Tyler Anderson, Roller City and Tropical Sno owner; Brook Boehmler, North Iowa Area SBDC Regional Director; Joyce Martin, Pappajohn Center Marketing and Communications Coordinator and Brad and Angie Barber, Cabin Coffee owners.

The students presented their businesses to a panel of three judges: Hunter Callanan, North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation; Jeff Potts, 20/20 Creative; and Beth Bilyeu, Forest City Economic Development Corporation.

The judges chose three businesses to win an additional $500 seed money award, and two honorable mention prizes of $250.

The winners were:

Josh Hanson – Hanson Web Development

Christopher Molander: Liquid Gold Honey

Avery Williams – Tea Time

Honorable mentions:

Eliot Chute – CrestFall

Jillian Harriman – Jill’s Goodies

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