News Release #14050June 29, 2006Contact: Mary Grodek 216.687.2290 firstname.lastname@example.org
High school students win awards and scholarships in first business plan competition
From better hospital gowns to removing tattoos: twelve high school students from four local schools took home awards for business plans that they wrote as part of an innovative pilot curriculum to learn about free enterprise and entrepreneurship.
On Wednesday, June 28 at Cleveland State’s Nance College of Business Administration, students from Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Fairview, North Royalton and West Geauga high schools celebrated the fact that their business plans for new products and services were selected as winners from among more than 120 submitted by students. Each was awarded a $500 scholarship.
Grand prize winners were Megan Milcinovic of Brecksville-Broadview High School for her plan for a nonprofit tutoring service called Enlightening, and Haley Beck and Amanda Blackley of West Geauga for their plan for a company called Shirt-Abilities.
In their business plans, students outlined how they would create, staff and market a new business or nonprofit group. The competition among the four schools is part of an innovative pilot program called Scholarship of Entrepreneurial Engagement (SEE). Eight high schools -- the others are Chardon, Madison, Mayfield Heights and Parma -- involving hundreds of students used a curriculum throughout spring 2006 developed by retired American Greetings executive John Klipfell. Partners in SEE that provided mentoring, contest judging and other assistance include the Nance College of Business, EconomicsAmerica and local chambers of commerce. The objectives of SEE are to:
Provide program participants with a high level, non-political understanding of how American free enterprise and the global economy work, consistent with the Ohio Department of Education's Academic Content Standards.
Plant the seeds of entrepreneurship in local high school youth to benefit their lives and careers.
Fuel the entrepreneurial spirit in the local business community through their participation.
Involve higher education more in the economic and entrepreneurial education of high school students.
The winning business plans are (descriptions provided where available):
West Geauga High School:Haley Beck and Amanda Blackley − Shirt-Abilities. A create-your-own line of shirts and tank tops. Using an assembly line format, customers can add graphics, paint and accessories to create their own look. “Our generation is all about standing out and being unique,” Beck and Blackley explained. “With our shirts, you can save money and not spend a lot on designer clothing.”
Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Peter Jones − 2nd Gear Sports. A company that organizes and promotes sports tournaments for amateur athletes, such as basketball tournaments attended by coaches for recruiting athletes to college sports.
Harpreet Malla − Babysittersforehire.com. An online business dedicated to helping families find babysitters.
Chelsea Getts − Head to Toe Salon. A one-stop shop that provides a variety of services to women, including tanning, hair care, nail care and wardrobe consulting by stylists.
Nick Karas − Specialized Transportation
Megan Milcinovic − Enlightening. A nonprofit tutoring service for elementary school children, incorporating art to make learning more fun and effective.
Sharon Rymut − Organic Soil, Inc. A company that turns horse manure and bedding into compost that is then sold to garden centers and landscapers. The public can also drop off yard waste at the company location.
Fairview High School:Christine Rakowsky − Feel Good Gowns. A firm dedicated to providing better hospital gowns.
North Royalton High School:Gregory Hiller − Fresh Start. A tattoo removal service; Hiller was inspired by the fact that young people his age often get “goofy” tattoos that they later want removed.
Joseph Benny − Retro World
Julia Antonelli − Xander's Corner Bar
SEE partners plan to expand the program’s success to 20 to 30 high schools next year. Additional aspects may include class lectures from the local business community, an optional student essay contest in addition to the business plan contest, online mentoring by local business professionals, and a continuing education program for ongoing inspiration for SEE program alumni.
For more information, please call Cleveland State’s Office of Marketing and Public Affairs at 216-687-2290.