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Thursday, May 25, 2017 - Entrepreneurial Spirit is Alive and Well; ‘Make it Better’ Competition is a Big Hit with Students

Future business leaders and entrepreneurs put their ideas to the test during Walsh College’s sixth annual “Make it Better” essay and marketing competition, which challenged applicants to either create a new product or to make an existing product better.

Ten cash prizes totaling $1,700 were awarded in the essay competition, in which young entrepreneurs described their products and their usefulness to the community in detail. There was an optional marketing competition, as well, with five gift cards being awarded.

Armada High School students show off the awards they won during the “Make it Better” competition. Pictured, from left, are Madison Proctor, Joy McChristian, Armada High teacher Jason Moore, Vincent Cioletti, and Nicholas Carroll. Nicholas Todd, not pictured, also competed from Armada High.

The competition is sponsored by Walsh College’s LaunchPad, a co-curricular program that encourages and guides entrepreneurs through the process of starting or growing a business.

“We look forward to offering this innovative competition every year. Our goal is to foster creative and critical thinking skills within the younger generation and to get them thinking about entrepreneurship as a potential career path,” said Carol Glynn, director of Walsh College LaunchPad. “It’s very important that we keep offering encouragement and challenging the students. After all, they are tomorrow’s business leaders, inventors, and entrepreneurs.”

The top three finishers in the essay competition were:

  • Jaehee Lee, a senior from Troy High School. Lee’s winning product was an app called “Seallergy,” which could determine safe products for consumers with allergies, thus making grocery shopping easier and safer.
  • Riley Kloostra, a senior from Clarkston High School, finished second. Kloostra’s business idea was “Salute Fast Food Café,” which is a healthy fast food café with a drive-thru and app ordering option. The business would help the community by providing healthy eating options for people who eat on the run.
  • Nicholas Carroll, a junior from Armada High School, took third place. His business, titled “Farm to Table Delivery,” is a food ordering service that provides consumers with fresh produce from local farms.
 Clarkston High School students were well represented in the Walsh College LaunchPad “Make it Better” competition. Pictured, from left, are Riley Kloostra, teacher Christy Moore, and Grace Hamann.

The entrepreneurial competition was open to high school and community college students who reside in Michigan, and Walsh College students and alumni. It is always a big hit with high school students, in particular, and their teachers.

Jason Moore, a teacher at Armanda High School, said the competition “encouraged entrepreneurs and future business leaders.” Armada High had three of the top six finishers in the essay competition and three more winners in marketing.

Nick Spano, a teacher at St. Clair Shores Lakeview High School, had high praise for the innovative competition. Spano, who had 32 students entered in the competition, said “I truly enjoy teaching my students about innovation and this contest offers the perfect summative exercise to drive home the point. My students get excited about the prospect of sharing their ideas and the opportunity to win prizes. In short, your contest makes it ‘real.’”