April 17, 2018

Career Preparation Center Students Win Big at the Youth Startup Challenge

Students from the Eaton Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) Career Preparation Center participated in the Youth Startup Expo at the Lansing Center on Tuesday, March 27. 

The Youth Startup Expo, now in its fifth year, is an event created by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) to showcase young entrepreneurs. Any student middle school- or high school-aged is invited to participate in the event. Students develop and submit a business plan in advance as well as develop a table presentation and pitch which they make to judges and the public throughout the day. At the end of the day, the judges deliberate and award over $10,000 in prize dollars to the students.

Many Career Preparation Center students participated and took home prizes for their business ideas. Emily Newborn, Animal Science and Zoo Management student, won the Grand Champion award in addition to the best table pitch and second place business plan awards. Emily, a senior from Eaton Rapids High School has completed several agriculture classes and earned many certifications. She has served as vice president of the Eaton County 4H Council, vice president of the Small Animal Association and a Junior Farm Bureau Board Member. Emily plans to attend Michigan State University in the fall of 2018 and work toward a graduate degree in Veterinary Science and eventually open her own practice.

Congratulations to the following students and future leaders:

  • Grand Champion ($1,000), 2nd Place Business Plan ($300) and Best Table Pitch ($300): Emily’s Farm; Emily’s Farm raises organic grain-fed chickens as well as processing other grain-fed organic meats. They are freeze dried and available for sale.
    • Emily Newborn, Eaton Rapids High School
  • Best Food-Based Business ($400): Cone Chips; Cone Chips creates waffle cone chips dipped in a variety of flavors with sprinkles to use as an ice-cream scoop so that you can enjoy the flavor of the cone with every bite of ice-cream.
    • Maddy Stewart, Charlotte High School, Jon Maag and Colten Webber, Lakewood High School
  • Best Fashion Design Business ($400) and Best Business Plan ($500): Passion; Passion creates all-natural universal wraps made with bamboo and other organically dyed fabrics with all-natural plant and flower essences.
    • Emilie Dyson, Eaton Rapids High School and Tara Dawdy, Potterville High School
  • Best Socially-Conscious Business ($400): We Care; We Care is an online subscription often purchased as a gift to help support people suffering from depression and anxiety that lack the desire to care for themselves. The monthly box provides basic hygiene products as well as small snacks and positive affirmations.
    • Dakota Leveque, Eaton Rapids High School and Elizabeth Sell, Potterville High School
  • Best Eco-Friendly Business ($400) and Crowd Favorite ($200): Refreshing; Refreshing is an upcycle clothing company that purchases newly used clothing and combines them to create unique, one of a kind designer looks.
    • Zoe Roberts, Charlotte High School, Vallissa Carter and Cate Cannon, Grand Ledge High School

Other participating student businesses include Change, a clothing library that allows subscribers to have a certain number of exchanges per month by Caitlyn Humphrey from Grand Ledge High School and MeKayla Ford from Haslett High School and Sector Marketing, a company that is focused on increasing the social media market presence of small businesses in the greater Lansing area by Kevin Wheeler and Kaylee Arnett from Eaton Rapids High School.

“Events like the Youth Startup Expo expose students to a different type of education. Students have support from their teachers, advisors and families, but it is up to them to present their business ideas to the public,” said Cindy Anderson, Eaton RESA Superintendent. “Congratulations to the students for participating and working so hard on their businesses throughout the year. We look forward to seeing these students continue to work on these businesses after they leave the Career Preparation Center.”

The Lansing Youth Startup Expo takes place in March of each year after a series of pitch competitions called 5 Minutes Tops helps prepare some students for the event. To find out more about the Youth Startup Expo, visit www.purelansing.com/youthstartup.