A panel of 4 judges had the difficult task of determining a winner from 12 teams of high school students representing Tyner Academy and the Howard School. Each team gave a presentation featuring their product or service idea and business plan. The students were participating in the LAUNCH High School Entrepreneurship Program, spending a semester with teachers and mentors developing concepts into feasible business plans. The prize package for the winning team includes start up cash and services from professionals to guide and assist the budding business owners.
Grab N Go is the winning team for the 2012 competition. Their goal is to place vending machines into high schools and colleges stocked with school supplies. Colby McCurty and Deosha King plan to spend the summer working to take their business from paper to reality. The first machine will be placed at Tyner Academy.
The judges broke from the competition standard to offer two other companies an opportunity to expand their ideas. Winston Clay, Antonio Woodall and Deshun Wilson have been given the opportunity to refine and present their business plan in Co Lab's 48 Hour Launch. The weekend long business summit will give these high school students the opportunity to work with advisors and business services. Their product is known as the Comfort Box. The portable device allows you to warm your clothing or blankets without the need of a conventional dryer.
The Chattanooga Renaissance Fund will be providing a third competitor the chance to kick off her business 4Ever Young Thrift Store. Deshel Hambrick was awarded #1,000 to open her first store with the added incentive of $1,000 per additional store started in schools with a $5,000 maximum. The first store will be at the Howard School and provide for a donations based thrift store for students to update their wardrobe while the proceeds will benefit the school.