University hosts Youth Entrepreneur Symposium

Huntington, Ind.—On Oct. 14, Huntington University hosted the second annual Venture Works Youth Entrepreneur Symposium. One hundred fifty Huntington North High School students participated in the day-long event. Students were divided into 32 groups and experienced first hand how to invent a new video gaming system. Ideas from the sessions included motion integrated video game, gaming glasses, a game system which integrated a GPS system, various levels of playability and the use of batteries that charged themselves when used. They were encouraged to be radical and different in their product creation.

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“I believe it was a very worthwhile experience for the students,” said Dave Blocker, HNHS teacher. “The students were challenged and asked to work together in a very diverse group. In today's world we are all asked to work in these types of situations.”

After creating their product concept, each group was challenged to expand their product concept into a business concept. Each group determined the product, how it was different from other products, how they would make money, who the customers were and how the customers would use their product, and finally, where and how their product would be sold. The top six groups presented to a group of 5 judges with the rest of their peers as an audience.

Evan Saunders, advanced accounting student at Huntington North, said, “It was a great learning experience that enabled us to be engaged and think outside the box.”

During lunch, students heard an inspiring talk from Darren Harrison of Whirlwind Pictures. He encouraged students to be successful, read books, pursue their goals and dreams, and to not miss their moment to shine.

The winning business concept was called Hypersphere and their concept created a wireless gaming system that would read all media formats and the internet to download games. The team consisted of Anna Stong, Micah Snabl, Nick Bailey, Kristin Alexander, Brianna Huff, T.J. Clounie,

The second place business concept was called ETC. Their system would be hand held and could connect with any other gaming system. Their team included: Ashley Rice, Anna Stults, Amanda Rupp, Isabella Street, Tyler Drew, Chris Treft

The third place team was Cory Blocker, Ben North and their concept was called UR1. The UR1 system allowed the player to be “in” in the game utilizing motion capture technology.

Facilitators for the day included

John Mignone, Mignone Communications

Gary Town, Northeast Indiana Driving Academy

Pete Schownir, Huntington University

Remound Wright, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center

Steve Franks, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center

Judges were

Darlene Stanley, Johnson Junction

Mark Wickersham, Huntington County United Economic Development Corporation (HCUED)

Ron Coffey, Huntington University

Joanne Green, Huntington University

Kay Schwob, Huntington University

Team members from the first place team won $50 Best Buy gift cards, second place won $25 Best Buy gift cards and the third place team won $15 Best Buy gift cards.

Venture Works is a collaborative resource center for entrepreneurs that facilitates the development and growth of new business enterprises. Venture Works focuses on providing assistance for new business ventures in the Huntington County area. This assistance ranges from providing guidance on developing business and marketing plans, to acquiring start-up capital, to offering low-cost office space and shared services.

The event was sponsored by Huntington County United Economic Development Corporation, Venture Works, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, Huntington University, and the Huntington County Commissioners. Funding was provided by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director