Teen Tech Tank invites high school entrepreneurs to pitch ideas for chance at CSU scholarship

The Young Entrepreneur Institute, a group that encourages Northeast Ohio students to get involved in entrepreneurial experiences and organizations, is hosting Teen Tech Tank – a technology business idea pitch competition for high school students.
The entrepreneurs will compete for a chance to win $30,000 in prizes, including a scholarship to Cleveland State’s Monte Ahuja School of Business. Students with an idea for a tech business must submit a 60-second video by midnight today, Monday, October 5th.
"The hopes are that they will formulate a great idea that has real world feasibility with a technology component,” says Wendy Wercion, director of underwriting and sponsorship with the Young Entrepreneur Institute, who adds that organizers are hoping to receive 200 videos.
“Hopefully they’ll practice, practice, practice and then make the 60-second video. The pool of contestants will have such a wonderful opportunity to win if they deliver a great pitch.”

From the submissions, 20 semifinalists will be chosen. The semifinalist videos will be posted online through October 28th, where the public is invited to view and vote on their favorites. All 20 semifinalists receive $100 and a Teen Tech Tank T-shirt.

Five finalists will then be chosen by a combination of public voting and a panel of six community judges. The videos will be judged based on originality, real world application and presentation.

The five finalists will then pitch their ideas to “Shark Tank” star and entrepreneur Daymond John and an audience of approximately 450 educators at Enspire 2015, an event for entrepreneur educators, on Saturday, November 7.

“It will be such a confidence builder to get up in front of that many people and present an idea,” Wercion says.
All five finalists will receive an additional $150, a year’s supply of Coca-Cola products, a Best Buy Chromebook laptop, and a CSU Ahuja College of Business scholarship. The students must apply and be accepted to CSU to receive the scholarship.
Wercion stresses that the applicants don’t have to write a business plan, they only have to formulate an idea. But the idea much be technology-centered. “It could be specifically tech – hardware, software, music or games – or it could be an efficiency component for a medical company,” she explains.
Videos explaining how to apply, eight tips for making a great pitch video and sample videos are available on the Teen Tech Tank Site.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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