Yesterday morning four different teams from two local high schools advanced to and participated in the second round of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC’s eighth annual Chamber High School Business Challenge at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology, 326 Market Street, Harrisburg.
Four young female entrepreneurs from Hershey High School clenched the first place prize, each receiving a $350.00 scholarship, for their business called “Force Shield.” The Force Shield bag, for which they developed an actual prototype, is an innovative rain protector for sports bags. Team members included Katie Flanagan, Anna Hajnal, Allyson Koda, and Andi Moritz. The students were advised by their teacher Ms. Colette Silvestri and mentored by local businesswoman Jena Milakovic, owner of Lyes and Lathers.
“It’s always exciting to see women take interest in the business world the way this outstandingly talented group of young women has,” shared Milakovic. “For Force Shield, the Chamber High School Business Challenge has been critical in presenting the changing face of entrepreneurship to an enthusiastic business community here in our hometown.”
When asked about her experience participating in this year’s competition, Force Shield President Allyson Koda said, “Participating in the Business Challenge was a wonderful opportunity to turn a consumer insight into a well-developed business plan. We worked as a team to conduct consumer research, create a prototype, develop a go-to-market strategy, and build the financial projections. We are thankful for this incredible learning experience.”
Another team from Hershey High School, also under the direction of Silvestri, placed second for their business called “CropNet.” Students from Big Spring High School came in third and fourth place for their plans “Neato” and “Heatz Headphones,” respectively; they were advised by their teacher Ms. Lori Munson.
Cash scholarship prizes, which were made possible by generous sponsorships from the regional business community, were provided to each student who participated in the event. PNC Bank served as the Presenting Sponsor. Associate Sponsors included Enginuity, LLC, PPL Electric Utilities, Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, Schaedler Yesco Distribution, and the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau. Capital Region Water, Harristown Enterprises, Inc., La Torre Communications, and Perfectly Pennsylvania were Supporting Sponsors. Patron Sponsors included BELCO Community Credit Union, Halifax Area School District, Harrisburg Young Professionals, Ms. Valerie Ketchen, Mr. Bruce Krell, Mr. Keith Li, Ms. Lynda Morris, PA Chamber of Business & Industry, Pronto Plumbing, Secco Home Services, and Mr. Tim Whelan.