Student finalists from every public high school in Frederick County tested their business acumen in the third year of a local competition called Startup Frederick, modeled on the TV show Shark Tank, on May 23. The winning Oakdale High School team of Samantha Foster and Reese Plant split a $2,000 scholarship and received $250 per person in a Nymeo savings account. Their winning project was called Internity, an app to connect high school and college students with employers offering internships and apprentice opportunities.
The 25 student finalists had to pitch an entrepreneurial concept and business plan to a panel of leading business people who served as judges. The finalists, each of whom had won their school’s competition, had up to five minutes per team to pitch their ideas and an additional five minutes to respond to judges’ questions. Students were judged in five categories: creativity/innovation, product/service clarity, market potential, competitive landscape, and operational sustainability. Judging this year’s competition were Nymeo Compliance and Risk Director Eric Black, Hood College’s George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business Chair Dr. David Gurzick, and Mackintosh, Inc. Realtor and Frederick Chamber of Commerce Member Relations Manager Michael Kurtianyk.
In addition to the winning team, student finalists and their high schools were Hailey Cordero from Brunswick, a team of Issiah Wivell and Noah Wivell from Catoctin, a team of Casey Arocha, Kiera Nordin and Alyssa Swaim from Frederick, a team of Giovani Anderson and Hernajen Tundag from Gov. Thomas Johnson (TJ), a team of Jack DuBro, Lucas Kingsley and Joe Russo from Linganore, a team of Annushka Aliev and Will Jenkins from Middletown, a team of Jonathan Lumbasi, Anthony Snyder and Evan Way from Tuscarora, a team of Shawn Kewal/Ramani, Saket Thakrar and Jack Walker from Urbana, and Audrey McClatchie from Walkersville.
Second through 10th place participants received Nymeo accounts with funds ranging from $150 for 2nd place, to $100 for 3rd, and $50 each for 4th-10th places.
Frederick County Public Schools partnered with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, the Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County and Nymeo in this year’s Startup Frederick.
Students Rebecca Dennis and Grace Parente, from TJ and the FCPS Career and Technology Center’s (CTC) TV/Multimedia Program, emceed the program. Urbana High School senior Mike Manning, also in the CTC’s TV/Multimedia Program, filmed the program.
Silver Diner provided food at the event.
Left to right in the photo are FCPS Career and Technology Education Coordinator Norm McGaughey, Oakdale High School Technology Education Teacher Kaelyn Stieg, first-place winning Oakdale High School students Reese Plant and Samantha Foster, and Nymeo Compliance and Risk Director Eric Black.