EDC Announces Winners of the 4th Annual Business Plan Competition

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Main News Photo

The Economic Development Council of Mason County and Shelton School District hosted their 4th annual business plan competition on May 23, 2017, among high school students, to continue encouraging new business development ideas. The competition came from a desire to help students push their business ideas closer toward reality with advice and review from members of our local business community and  to foster the development of these new businesses to be owned and operated by residents of Mason County.

Out of all the business plans submitted, 12 of those moved forward to present their ideas. The students displayed and pitched their ideas for starting a new business to a panel of three community members and received helpful feedback on how to continue moving forward. The panel included Andrew Bertrand with Our Community Credit Union, Kristin Masteller with Mason County PUD No. 1, and Mason County Commissioner Randy Neatherlin.

The top five students received a full scholarship, with college credits, to Washington Business Week.  With programs located at three Washington universities, these programs offer students a chance to experience simulated career challenges in a general business setting or in the career-focused pathways of healthcare, and manufacturing. Teens will live on the university campus of their choice and interact with professionals and peers as a company during the day, and afterwards, enjoy outdoor activities, volleyball, rec halls, and the campus amenities with their newly made teammates.

In only six days, students build a team, launch a company, compete in a dynamic industry simulation, sharpen communication skills, and recreate the energy and results-focus of the workplace.

Congratulations to the top five students Karlee Manke, Anita Jensen, Isabella Nicolas, McKenzie Holcomb, and Micah Giberson. Their diverse plans range from a photography studio to a medical practice to a social media group.

Kristin Masteller said, “This is such an amazing experience. I have been so impressed with these students and their willingness to develop, share, and refine their ideas.”

Washington Business Week Programs are experiential, intensive pathways that dive deep into the world of entrepreneurship, career development, and building life skills. They allow a student take a test run of college life, make new friends, explore careers, network with professionals from prominent companies, earn college credits and maybe even win a scholarship. All in just one week! With the guidance of a mentor from the business community, a student will solve real-world challenges while role-playing as a marketing, finance or production team mate.

These scholarships were made available through funding from The Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council.  This program is focused on preparing students to build their own business or to successfully meet the needs of the local employers.

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