HOISINGTON - Wednesday morning, some of Hoisington’s most promising young entrepreneurs competed in the first ever Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The contest, sponsored by NetWork Kansas and Hoisington’s E-Community, provided a chance to win a $500 scholarship and a chance to go on to the state level Youth Challenge.
Six individuals and teams prepared displays promoting their businesses, some of which are still in the idea stage, and others finishing up their beta launches and nearing the moment they will make their debut in the business world. All students are enrolled in Hoisington High School’s Entrepreneurship class. Some are members of Future Business Leaders of America.
Members of the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce were invited to judge the trade show in lieu of their regular Chamber Coffee. Local business people arrived at the Hoisington High School Red Zone and listened to business presentations, asked questions, offered suggestions, and filled out their ballots.
Businesses pitched included Capture Life Photography, a portrait and special occasion photography company; Breaking Bats, offering batting and pitching coaching services; Cardinal Screen Repair, offering repair service for cell phone and computer screens; Errands 4 You, providing grocery shopping and errand services; K & K Design, a clothing design and manufacture company, and D & B Applications, providing custom agricultural applications.
Of the students already testing the waters for their potential business success, Jacob Saterlee, owner of Capture Life Photography, displayed samples of his photography, and included pricing for both sessions and photos. Currently, he works primarily for students, and has taken some senior photos for friends. He has been interested in photography for the past three years.
Corbin Crawford is the owner of Cardinal Screen Repair and, Logon McHenry is his marketing manager. The two recently won a competition in Stockton, taking home a $500 cash award. There, they received feedback they’ve already begun incorporating into their business plan.
The two have identified their target market, local teens. They currently offer repairs for apple products including iPhones and iPads. They’ve also identified their supplier for repair kits, and hope to expand their service to include Samsung products soon. With their youth, credibility is a factor they realize they need to overcome. To help, they’ve created YouTube videos to demonstrate their expertise and professionalism. Next month, they will begin a mainstream marketing effort, thanks to their recently won award.
Katie and Kelsey, the designers behind K & K Designs, have a knack for creating creative clothing using recycled and repurposed items. Katie saw potential in thrift store finds, with many of their designs sharing the characteristics of mainstream teen and young adult fashions found in boutique shops. For the design duo, recycling isn’t just about keeping supply costs low. Theirs is also an environmentally friendly strategy. So far, designs have been available to family and friends, but both are interested in ways to bring their creations to a wider crowd.
In addition to the challenge, the Hoisington E-Community held a career fair, which included a wide range of local businesses and schools vying for the ear of students. Each student received a career fair passport, and exhibitors signed off as they visited. Once all booths were visited, students could turn in their passport for a chance to win one of several prize envelopes which included coupons for free merchandise at area businesses and Chamber bucks.