Next Launch LogoStudents from nine Midwest high schools will compete for the chance to take home $25,000 this month at the third annual business idea competition, The Next Launch.

The Next Launch, a regional business idea competition specifically for high school students, is sponsored by The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur at Culver Academies. Teams from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio will be competing for a top prize of $25,000. First runner-up will receive $10,000 and second runner-up will receive $5,000.

The business ideas presented must include a description of a product, company, or service and its market need. It may be either “for-profit” or “not-for-profit” and may be new to the market or recently established.

“We’re thrilled to host The Next Launch for the third year,” said Alex Kurrelmeier, Director of The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur. “The past two years we’ve seen incredible ideas from high school students, including a mobile application that would use an avatar to assist students with speech impediments, a feminine hygiene product that would cut waste and benefit lower-income women, and more. This level of competition provides students with real-world experience in teamwork, collaboration and research typically only found at the university level.”

High schools participating in the competition are:

·      Cathedral High School (Indianapolis)

·      Noblesville High School (Indianapolis)

·      Shortridge IB Magnet School (Indianapolis)

·      International School of Indiana (Indianapolis)

·      Culver Academies (Culver)

·      Start Up Moxie Charter School (South Bend)

·      New Trier High School (Winnetka, Illinois)

·      Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (Aurora, Illinois)

·      Huron High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

All teams will conduct a five-minute pitch and finalists will do a 10-minute pitch. Entrepreneurship and business professors from Indiana University, Butler University, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Notre Dame University, University of Illinois and professional business leaders will serve as the judges for the competition.

The event will be conducted at Culver Academies on April 23 and 24. George “Monk” Foreman III, entrepreneur, boxing trainer/coach, and son of the legendary businessman and former two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman Sr., will be the keynote speaker for students on April 23 as the competition kicks off.

More information about the competition, competing schools and The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur can be found here.