BUTTE - Economic leaders in Butte just completed a program that teaches students how to make it in the real world by becoming entrepreneurs.
Headwaters RC&D in Butte had more than a dozen students from a seven-county area compete in a business plan competition to see who can come up with the best business idea.
“I know wish that was something I had more of in high school, because it was always just, you know, ‘go to college, go to college’ once you graduate and it’s like, well, there’s more out there,” said SBDC Business Advisor Taylor Lovell.
Seventh graders through seniors participated in the project by drawing up business plans for ideas they came up with.
“Things I would never think of, the creativity and to be able to finally see them put it down on paper and put it into a formal business it’s really cool,” said Lovell.
The two finalists, Jenna Nate of Sheridan High School and Mya Stenson of Butte High presented their projects before a panel of local business people in a Shark Tank-style competition.
Jenna developed a windshield cover that can defrost a frozen windshield through a cellphone.
“I hate going out early in the morning and throwing on what shoes I can find so I can defrost my windshield. It’s just more convenient,” said Nate.
Mya developed an app that uses lights to indicate if a basketball went out of bounds during a game.
“I have loved ones that have hearing and seeing issues, so making it more accessible to people in the stands as well as making it a fair and more genuine playing experience,” said Stenson.
These young entrepreneurs are not only pitching their ideas to a panel of judges but before a room of people from the Butte business community, just to add to the tension of the competition.
“Honestly, I’m a little nervous, but I’m just going to be myself and hope that impresses them,” said Nate.
It worked. Jenna’s windshield warmer took the first prize of $1,000 and Mya took the second-place prize of $750.