May 7, 2015 – Charleston, SC – Over $15,000 was awarded to student competitors as seed money yesterday at the 4th Annual Regional Business Plan Competition presented by Motley Rice. Through community partnerships with Motley Rice, MWV, Suntrust, Parker Poe, The Bakker Family, & The Exchange Club of Charleston,YEScarolina was able to award startup cash to thirty five young entrepreneurs that presented their ideas and innovations to judges throughout the day. Hosted at the College of Charleston School of Business, future business owners competed in several rounds of competition before the six finalists landed themselves in the closing challenge round. The six local business leaders that made up the final judge panel were Earl Bridges of Good Done Great, Shauna VanBogart of Best Kept Self, Rebecca Vaughan of MeadWestVaco, Badge Humphries of Lewis Babcock Griffin Attorneys, Will Jamieson of Geekin Ventures, & Josh Wright of Merrill Lynch.
Connor Simonson, a senior at Wando High School, won the coveted first place prize of $1,000 for his innovative business idea, Deep Fried Dyes. Connor moved to Mt. Pleasant, SC from Seattle, WA just one year ago and his enthusiasm for lacrosse followed him. His business provides lacrosse players with professional string and dye jobs. Since fourth grade Connor has been playing lacrosse and his passion for the sport is evident in his business plan presentation and daily life.
Second place prize of $500 went to Matthew Root of James Island Charter High for M&B ATM LLC. Matthew has been an entrepreneur since birth! He is constantly networking and there is no doubt we will see him as a future business leader in our community and beyond.
Maddy Bessinger of West Ashley High School won the third place prize of $250 for her business Eat, Sit, Play. Maddy has been running her business for several years and her clients have nothing but positive things to stay about her pet sitting service.
The runners up were Hunter Price of West Ashley High School for Bag-a-Field, Kinley DuRant of James Island Charter for MMM Services, & Christian Davis of Ashley Ridge High School for Cultural Cooks.
These six young entrepreneurs now advance to the State Business Plan Competition presented by the Mark Motley Foundation June 17th at the College of Charleston School of Business in addition to twelve students from around the city and state. The public is encouraged to attend and watch the entrepreneurship challenge finals at 5:30 pm where the first place winner will receive $3,000, second place $2,000, & third place $1,000. The first place winner will also advance to the NFTE National Challenge.
Other CCSD schools with students participating in this event included St. Johns High School, Lincoln Middle-High School and Baptist Hill Middle-High School.
Picture above by Boncek Images – Top 3 winners of Regionals w/ Becky Vaughan of MWV & Yescarolina board member, YEScarolina Vice President Harriett Lee, and YEScarolina Program Coordinator Molly Crete.
YEScarolina, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is the only organization in the state of South Carolina dedicated to teaching youth the principles of entrepreneurship and free enterprise. YEScarolina has helped thousands of young people from communities statewide build business skills and unlock their entrepreneurial creativity. To date, YEScarolina has trained and certified over 725 South Carolina teachers, free of charge, on the subject of entrepreneurship. These educators in turn have touched and inspired thousands of young South Carolinians with a thirst for entrepreneurship. Contact Harriett Lee for more information firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-556-1909.