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Local high school students share innovative business ideas at upcoming showcase 

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Sharing on behalf of HELP Kosciusko.

May 2, 2024 (Warsaw, IN) – The community is invited to support and celebrate local student entrepreneurs at the first Kosciusko Student Venture Challenge: 2024 Showcase on Thursday, May 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dane A. Miller Science Complex at Grace College (806 Connection Circle Winona Lake, IN 46590).

The event is hosted by Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP) Kosciusko in partnership with Believe in a Dream, Inc. and the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO).

Emerging from findings through the HELP Kosciusko program, the Kosciusko Student Venture Challenge (KSVC) is a customized 8-week entrepreneurship bootcamp for local high school students. Student programming is facilitated by entrepreneur coach Steve Franks of Believe in a Dream, and students from Tippecanoe Valley and Warsaw High Schools are participating in the first cohort of the program.

“These students have worked incredibly hard, and after months of dedicated participation in the program, they’re ready to showcase their business ideas to the community,” said Kosciusko County Coordinator Amy Roe.

The first cohort of the KSVC program consisted of eight 2-hour experiential business bootcamp sessions covering initial business idea development, elevator pitches, prototyping, marketing and lead generation, setting financial goals, offering and receiving peer-to-peer feedback, and more.

“From a teacher’s perspective, KSVC has provided a wonderful opportunity for my students to connect with local entrepreneur coaches and business leaders,” said Aaron Engbrecht, business teacher and work based learning coordinator at Tippy Valley High School. “The bootcamps have been instrumental in bringing the content that we discuss in class to life, and the program supplements what we’re currently doing in the New Venture Development class, which is part of our Entrepreneurship Pathway. I look forward to KSVC being a part of the TVHS Entrepreneurship program for years to come.”

With the goal of bringing together entrepreneurs of all ages and at all stages of business, KEDCO is also hosting its monthly entrepreneur social in tandem with the Student Showcase at Grace.

“Combining the Entrepreneur Social with the Student Showcase creates opportunities for students to make connections with established business leaders who can provide feedback, as well as future networking and mentoring opportunities,” said KEDCO Entrepreneur Navigator Nick Ladig.

Attendees are welcome to come and go throughout the evening. The schedule of events includes:

5 p.m. – Doors open

5:15 pm. – 5:30 p.m. – Welcome, Amy Roe, HELP Kosciusko & Nick Ladig, KEDCO

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Visit student business booths “expo” style! During this time, students will also be called for private business pitch sessions to a panel of judges.

7 p.m. – Judges confer

7:30 p.m. – Awards

7:45 p.m. – Closing remarks

This event is FREE to attend and attendees should RSVP via Eventbrite by Thursday, May 9 here:

Event sponsors include: HELP Kosciusko, Believe in a Dream and KEDCO as Lead Sponsors; Dekko Foundation, Gold Sponsor; Core Mechanical, Award Sponsor; and Supporting Sponsors, 58 Creative, DreamOn Studios, Grace College, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, Tippecanoe Valley High School and Warsaw Community High School.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Kosciusko Student Venture Challenge, and opportunities to support the program in the future! For updates on HELP Kosciusko visit and follow HELP Kosciusko on Facebook @HELPKosciusko.

About the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP) in Kosciusko County
The Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP) from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) supports communities directly by building capacity, creating a peer network system between communities participating in the program, developing a strategic investment plan and providing access to set-aside funding. HELP is rooted in four pathways: advancing e-connectivity, promoting community wellness, enhancing quality of place, and strengthening local economies.

Media Contact:
Amy Roe (HELP Kosciusko County) –