SOMERS — Local high school students showed the entrepreneurial spark during an event Tuesday, creating innovative, imaginative projects for a business challenge.
Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce hosted its second annual Mini Business World competition in Kenosha County Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, with more than 60 high school students taking part.
During the five-hour session, the students Indian Trail, Tremper, Bradford and Reuther brainstormed, planned, designed and presented projects they hoped would win them scholarships to the summer business camps hosted by the WMC.
At the event, students were divided into teams, with each team representing a company.
From there, the assignment was to create a product or service, develop a business plan, make a tri-fold prototype and prepare for a mock trade show using their marketing idea that they all developed as a team.
The also had to come up with a company name and select team members to take on some specific assignments. Each team had a chief executive officer, a marketing person and in some cases, an engineer or a production official.
With at least six teams, the program coordinators knew they would get some exciting ideas.
“This teaches them to work together for a common goal,” said Micheal Steinborn, a facilitator at the event.
And the students did not disappoint.
One of the teams, Arizmendi Innovations, under the guidance of CEO Alexander Arizmendi, an Indian Trail student, designed Student Aid, an internet application that would allow students from middle school through college to access tutoring, select colleges and learn about scholarships and other forms of financial aid.
Another team, Clean Kicks, developed the Kick Kleaner, an interactive device that people could use in their homes to automatically clean hands and clothing simply by nudging it, somewhat like the hand blower in a public washroom.
A team that dubbed itself Company I developed the God Collar, a taco-making machine that eliminates the mess of putting meat, grated cheese and lettuce into a taco shell.
Hoping to have the most innovative, yet practical product, Peachy Phone Products, led by CEO Quentin Smith of Indian Trail and product designer Colin Helchler of Tremper, developed an iPhone air bag, a cellphone cover designed to protect against cellphone drops.
The students then presented their products during a trade show, with business professionals judging the concepts.
The winners will earn scholarships to one of the three, four-day Wisconsin Business World summer camps the WMC sponsors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and St. Norbert College, according to Michelle Grajkowski, manager of WMC’s Business World program.