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High School Students Win $25,000 during Midwest Business Idea Competition at Culver Academies

April 28, 2019
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Next Launch LogoStudents from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois won $25,000 this week with their idea for a more affordable solution for eye ware. The business idea was the winning concept at The Next Launch, a regional business idea competition specifically for high school students sponsored by The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur at Culver Academies.

The winning business idea, presented by Team “Fision”, addresses the issue of constantly-changing prescriptions for glasses over time. As children age, their prescriptions change, and eye ware is often expensive to replace. Their proposed company, Fision, would create thin, plastic adhesive lenses that can be applied directly to the original glasses lens as an individual’s vision changes over time. The plastic lenses use a silicone-based adhesive to stick and are less expensive than buying a new pair of glasses. According to the students’ research, 2.5 billion people around the world need glasses but cannot afford them.

Receiving $10,000, the first runner-up team presented “Triton Tech”, an idea for a device to address water waste that would save a household up to 26 gallons of water per day. Receiving $5,000, the second runner-up was an individual student, Sophia Pribus, who shared her idea for “Dialekt”, a company focused on helping immigrant students adapt to the culture of their new country. The top three teams were from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and were all-female groups.

Teams from nine high schools across Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio competed for the top prize. Schools representing Indiana included Noblesville High School, Cathedral High School, Culver Academies, the International School of Indiana and Start Up Moxie Charter School.

“The ideas presented at this year’s competition were very impressive,” said Alex Kurrelmeier, director of The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur. “It’s encouraging to see these ideas coming from high school students. I’m pleased we can offer this level of real-world experience to them. It’s our hope that this competition inspires them to become entrepreneurs.”

Entrepreneurship and business professors from Indiana University, Butler University, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Notre Dame University, University of Illinois and professional business leaders served as the judges for the competition.

More information about the competition, competing schools and The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur can be found here. Photos and video from the event can be found here.