Batavia High student entrepreneurs win cash awards for business ideas

 
 
Updated 5/23/2018 8:42 AM
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  • Batavia High School student entrepreneurs, from left, Adrian Osborne, Drew Iutzwig, Jake Paoletti and Thomas Prosser are Team Hyra Parking and were awarded $2,000 for their creative solution to reduce overflow parking on side streets by renting unused student parking spots in back lots while those students are absent, out sick, visiting colleges or just wanting to make money. The team won first place in the school's "Pitch Night" as part of the INCubator Entrepreneurship course.

    Batavia High School student entrepreneurs, from left, Adrian Osborne, Drew Iutzwig, Jake Paoletti and Thomas Prosser are Team Hyra Parking and were awarded $2,000 for their creative solution to reduce overflow parking on side streets by renting unused student parking spots in back lots while those students are absent, out sick, visiting colleges or just wanting to make money. The team won first place in the school's "Pitch Night" as part of the INCubator Entrepreneurship course. Courtesy of Batavia Unit District 101

  • From left, Connor Davis, Michael Jansey, Julian Davis, and Joe Ruzicka, Batavia High School student entrepreneurs, were awarded $1,800 for their West Exit teen streetwear brand.

    From left, Connor Davis, Michael Jansey, Julian Davis, and Joe Ruzicka, Batavia High School student entrepreneurs, were awarded $1,800 for their West Exit teen streetwear brand. Courtesy of Batavia Unit District 101

  • Batavia High School student entrepreneurs, from left, Steven Mansour, Benjamin Schieber, Reid Coyle, and William Fitch were awarded $1,450 for their GeoFluence team idea to create an influencer marketing agency aimed at helping small businesses advertise through social media.

    Batavia High School student entrepreneurs, from left, Steven Mansour, Benjamin Schieber, Reid Coyle, and William Fitch were awarded $1,450 for their GeoFluence team idea to create an influencer marketing agency aimed at helping small businesses advertise through social media. Courtesy of Batavia Unit District 101

  • From left, Ryan Stark, Julia Bartolotta, Collin Richter, and Blake Carlson of team OSA Secure were awarded $1,000 for creating a website aimed at helping end rape and assault on college campuses.

    From left, Ryan Stark, Julia Bartolotta, Collin Richter, and Blake Carlson of team OSA Secure were awarded $1,000 for creating a website aimed at helping end rape and assault on college campuses. Courtesy of Batavia Unit District 101

  • Alain Ceja, Quinlan Hagen and Matt Sutherland from Team Sunshine Seat were awarded $1,700 for innovative car seat attachments designed to protect children from overheating in vehicles. Not pictured is Daniel Sterne.

    Alain Ceja, Quinlan Hagen and Matt Sutherland from Team Sunshine Seat were awarded $1,700 for innovative car seat attachments designed to protect children from overheating in vehicles. Not pictured is Daniel Sterne. Courtesy of Batavia Unit District 101

A service allowing high school students to rent out their parking spots, a teen streetwear brand, and car seat attachments to protect children from overheating were among the winning business ideas at Batavia High School's recent "Pitch Night."

Students in the INCubator Entrepreneurship course presented their budding business ideas for a product or service before a panel of judges during the "Shark Tank"-style event last week at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. Winning teams were:

Hyra Parking -- awarded $2,000 for its creative solution to reduce overflow parking on side streets by renting out unused student parking spots in back lots while those students are absent, out sick, visiting colleges or just want to make money.

West Exit -- awarded $1,800 for its streetwear brand for creative and ambitious teenagers.

Sunshine Seat -- awarded $1,700 for its innovative car seat attachments designed to protect children from overheating in vehicles.

• GeoFluence -- awarded $1,450 for its influencer marketing agency aimed at helping small businesses advertise through social media.

OSA Secure -- awarded $1,000 for creating a website aimed at helping end rape and assault on college campuses.

During the two-semester INCubator Entrepreneurship course from INCubatoredu, students worked in teams to develop a business model, gain market input, test and improve their business concepts. Local entrepreneurs and business professionals served as volunteer coaches and mentors guiding the teams through startup processes. The program includes foundational business topics, such as marketing, human resources, business law, and finance.

"This is authentic learning for our students," said Brad Newkirk, Batavia Unit District 101 chief academic officer. "There are so many important skills that they are learning. They are problem solving with every obstacle that comes their way -- and there are plenty. They are thinking on their feet, having to pivot on ideas, and are constantly collaborating with each other, their team mentor, coaches and instructor."

Officials aim to grow the INCubator Entrepreneurship course at Batavia High, including increasing the number of female participants.

"The first year I started teaching this course, in 2016, we had 23 students and one of them was a female," said Dennis Piron, course instructor. "Next year, we have 70 students enrolled in the course and 10 of them are females.​ ​We will continue to work to close the gap between male and female students, making sure more females are taking advantage of entrepreneurship education.

"We are really proud of our expanding program and how it's giving our students real-world, hands-on experience​s. It's a great example of how collaborative education can open up opportunities for our high school students," he added.

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