After presenting their live “rocket pitches” and fielding questions from a panel of distinguished judges, two Harrells Christian Academy teams waited anxiously for the outcome of a competition they’d spent months preparing for.
Finally, the announcement was made. In the Social Entrepreneurship category, freshmen Mary Lila Blackburn of Wallace, Will deAndrade of Elizabethtown, and Aidan Kunst of Clinton won first place and a prize of $1,500 dollars. In the For-Profit category, seniors Holden Quinn of Kenansville and Talina Giles of Burgaw won third place and a prize of $500.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington Chancellor’s High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition invited students from 11 counties and 50 high schools to submit original product ideas and business plans for evaluation. Sponsored by the University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, this competition is “an amazing opportunity for high school thinkers, dreamers, and innovators to explore their inner entrepreneurial spirit.” The cash prize won by each Harrells team is accompanied by a year-long membership at the Center, where they are welcome to pursue actual implementation of their product idea.
The HCA teams worked independently to develop their pitches, slideshows, and business plans, drawing on skills and information they gained from Polly Hatcher’s middle school entrepreneurial studies elective and Kevin Kunst’s A.P. Micro- and Macro-Economics course. Harrells has a strong tradition of fostering entrepreneurship, with a vibrant FFA curriculum and, in the lower school, multi-disciplinary projects around small business ideas.