Glenbard East students earn funding for INCubator business idea
Glenbard East High School hosted its Business INCubator pitch night on May 16. Four teams selected from a semi-final competition competed to win $5,000 toward continuing their business.
Pitch night is a high-octane event where student entrepreneurship teams present their final business concept before a panel of industry experts in a competition for funding. It's the culmination of a yearlong academic program.
A board of advisers comprised of local business leaders facilitated the event and asked each team questions to determine if their business concept is worthy of investment.
Four teams selected from a semi-final competition last week competed to win $5,000 toward continuing their business. The winning team was "Auxilium."
Team members include Blanca Ayala, Jennifer Cousineau and Lillianna Zuniga. George Valaika is their mentor. Their description: "We are a group of three seniors who want to change the life of teens everywhere. 16 million teens struggle with anxiety in the United States, Our product is a weighted hoodie that will help teenagers cope with the stress and anxiety in public situations."
Other teams include:
• YeaPerks, with team members Grace Schwieters, Demetri Sepsis, William Sepsis and Eha Srivastava. YeaPerks is an incentive service that connects students and high schools with local businesses. Through YeaPerks, students win points for attending school events like concerts, games, and dances, which they can then use for discounts or free items at local restaurants and stores. This makes students want to attend more events, and brings more students to local businesses. Steve Gollins is their mentor.
• SmartMall, with team members Chloe Hartnett and Faizan Khan. Smart mall is the only service that modernizes and enhances the retail experience. This will benefit mall foot traffic and save retail shopping. Amy LeBeau is their mentor.
• Travel Rack with team members Henry Barry, Ethan Moreau, Neftali Ortiz and Jack Schendel. TravelRack is the best solution to inflight discomfort while using technology. John Fisher is their mentor.
The following professionals are volunteering with Glenbard East students:
• Coaches: Jennifer Brizzolara, Ken Esterly, Dan Hemmer, Alan Herbach, Phil Hyssong, Mary Klasen, Sandra Lumpkin, John Nevins, Jennifer Pembroke, Rob Pieper, Jossie Prochilo, Wendy Prochilo and Daryl Wooldridge
• Mentors: Tim Dierkes, John Fisher, Steve Gollins, Maura Havenga, Dan Hemmer, Phil Hyssong, Jennifer Janisch, Amy LeBeau, Dave Orr and George Valaika
• Board of Advisors: Nick Beil, Mike Hirsch, Deepa Kartha, Rob Pieper and Chris Schipke
• PEP/Glenbard East INCubator Foundation Trustee: Phil Hyssong