Teams Compete in 10th Annual Southern California Gas Company Challenge for Student Entrepreneurs
It is no secret that entrepreneurs are key drivers to economic growth, helping to reshape industry, create new jobs, drive innovation, and solve new problems. Startups are also the most accurate measurement to determine economic growth, according to a study by the Kauffman Foundation. Which is exactly why opportunities like the Annual Southern California Gas Company Challenge for Student Entrepreneurs are so critical to fostering entrepreneurship among our region’s young people.
Last Wednesday, March 9th, marked the competition’s tenth year, with twelve teams of students competing in the high-stakes competition designed to engage the brightest young business minds from high schools in Kings, Tulare and other Central Valley counties. Teams had a chance to compete in one, two or all three competition categories: business plan, physical display, and a live presentation.
It was the live presentation by Charles Adams, Monserrat Ferrer, and Christina Hall, a team from Harmony Magnet Academy, that gained the judges attention, taking home the grand prize of $2,500 for their business “Dexter’s.” They also won the 2nd place award for their business plan, with Lily Bennett and Briana Blocher’s “Greyter Solutions” taking first.
A full list of winners from Harmony Magnet Academy, Mission Oak High School, Porterville High School, Redwood High School, and Tulare Union High School include:
Two Tulare County Student STEM Entrepreneur Scholarships, sponsored by TUCOEMAS Federal Credit Union in the amount of $1,000 each, were awarded to Andrew Lewis of Harmony Magnet Academy and Joselyn Yanez of Tulare Union High School.
“Opportunities like this could not exist without our partners,” shares Gabbie Alvidrez of INNOVATE Tulare-Kings. “It takes a village. It’s the energy and dedication from our volunteer judges, students, and school districts, the Tulare County Office of Education, the Tulare Chamber of Commerce and Visalia Chamber of Commerce, California Community Colleges, TUCOEMAS Federal Credit Union, Sempra Energy, and Southern California Gas Company, that has us celebrating a decade of young entrepreneurs.”