Via Maverick Challenge Press Release:

Over the past weekend, 9 students representing 6 counties in Southeastern Indiana pitched their business plans at a regional finals competition for a chance at winning cash prizes as part of the next-
generation youth entrepreneurship initiative known as the Maverick Challenge.
Coordinated by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, the Maverick Challenge is designed to show high school students the viability of a career in entrepreneurship through a hands-on business planning experience.

This year, over 280 students from Bartholomew, Dearborn, Franklin, Jackson, Jennings, Monroe, and Scott counties participated in the program. Since its inception in 2008, more than $100,000 has been awarded to students.

This year’s winners presented four innovative ideas to a panel of judges in a very tight competition. In first place, Jesse Kogge, Julia Layton, and Aidan Mahaffey of the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship and Bloomington High School North (Monroe County) won $1,500 for their pitch, AR Odyssey. In second place, Trey Nebergall of Columbus North High School (Bartholomew County) won $1,000 for his pitch, Aspire Group.

Students participating in the Maverick Challenge complete an online curriculum on business foundations to help them take their ideas from a concept to a developed business plan. Students work with local mentors throughout the competition to improve their business plans, and students pitch these business plans in multiple
rounds of judging at both the county and regional levels. This year, the regional finals were held virtually via Zoom.

Launched in 2008, the Maverick Challenge aims to further develop the innovative spirit of our region by reaching out to high school students and showing them viable career opportunities through entrepreneurship. Since then, more than $100,000 in prize monies have been awarded. Student awards in Bartholomew County are sponsored by certified public accounting firm Agresta, Storms & O’Leary, and the program is also supported by grants from the Carl Marshall and Mildred Alman Reeves fund and the Old National Bank Foundation.

The Velocities region is extremely proud to have such talent and innovation from entrepreneurs of all ages. We congratulate Trey and the entire AR Odyssey team, Jesse, Julia and Aidan on their success.

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