IGNITE! Business Success: Youth idea challenge selects 7 teams for April 13th pitch event

Contact: Jo Ann Giese-Kent, IGNITE! Business Success representative and VP of Entrepreneurship, Research and

Innovation at FCEDC, 920.322.1878 or joann@futurefc.com

Seven area high school teams have been selected to pitch their product or service ideas at the inaugural IGNITE! Youth

Idea Challenge on April 13, 2016 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Marian University Stayer Center. The public is invited to

attend this exciting “Shark Tank” like event.

Engaging high school students is a key focus strategy of IGNITE! Business Success, the umbrella, go-to resource network

of 17 local organizations supporting area entrepreneurs (www.IGNITEFondDuLacCounty.com. “Entrepreneurship spurs

innovative and creative thought. This is important for our local community’s competitiveness, plus wealth and job

creation,” says Jo Ann Giese-Kent, IGNITE! Representative from the Fond du Lac County Economic Development

Corporation. “IGNITE! wants to recognize, support and maximize entrepreneurial talent and aspirations in our youth.”

To prepare the students for the Idea Challenge, six area high schools participated in an Entrepreneurship on Tour event on

December 4, 2015 that included tours of successful small businesses plus a Think Tank activity to help them generate


Teams that have been selected to participate in the inaugural IGNITE! Youth Idea Challenge include:

-Waupun Warriors –Waupun High School

-ABCD (Always Be Closing Deals) – Fond du Lac High School

-FDL, Inc – Fond du Lac High School

-Team Homan –Waupun High School

-Dom, Brady, Jeo –Waupun High School

-Fondy Business Team – Fond du Lac High School

-Generous Extension – Oakfield High School

Each team has been assigned a mentor from the business community to help them refine their idea. “I am involved in

mentoring because I love the energy and forward thinking of our youth. The Idea Challenge is a great way to engage our

youth to take ownership of their community and make a difference,” says Julie Balson of Gallery & Frame Shop.

Students will give a 4-minute “pitch” of their idea to a panel of judges at the April 13th event. Scholarships will be

awarded to the top three teams plus other awards.