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SQUARE1 high school startup pitch program is in full swing in 5th year; students get experiential learning

SQUARE1 has launched its 5th Startup Scholars program which provides high school students the opportunity to innovate, create, and better prepare for life’s next steps.

The program will pull together eight months of work with more than 500 high school students from Boone County to Butler County leading to a series of pitch competitions to award the best ideas in the region.

Student pitches include anything from a new technology venture to nonprofits or even an initiative to improve their school or community.

This process provides a unique experiential learning opportunity that aids the students in a variety of ways. For some, they better understand their choice of a major or minor in college. Others are actually working toward starting a business. All of them develop a skill set that prepares them as leaders and better equips them to succeed in work, school, and life.

Unique this year is an opportunity to participate in the rebranding of the program.

“The Startup Scholars name came about organically as we partnered with other organizations to introduce the concept’” explains SQUARE1’s President Keith Schneider. “Startup implies everyone becomes an entrepreneur and Scholars somewhat misleads the type of students we serve as it implies academic success.”

The new name will be created from workshops, contests, and engagement of participating students. Schneider says, “Our hope is to identify a name students are excited about while delivering a strong message to employers, colleges, and the community that these kids are exceptionally prepared to take on new challenges and opportunities.”

The rebranding along with many other projects and workshops starting in September allow the students to ideate, research, plan, and present ideas. By Mid-March student teams are ready to pitch their ideas to judges representing the region’s community and business leaders with the top teams advancing to the April 3rd final where more than $3,000 will be awarded.

This event is SQUARE1’s 3rd Annual Startup Scholars Pitch event presented along with Orchestrate Technologies.

Orchestrate Technologies is sponsor of the event.

“The program provides great lessons that strengthen abilities and builds key leadership skills in our next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs,” said Vincent Williams, Partner & Co-founder of Orchestrate Technologies and SQUARE1 Board Chair. 

The community is encouraged to join SQUARE1 to celebrate these students by attending the event and potentially contributing as a sponsor. More information on these opportunities are available here.

The event will be emceed by WLWT News 5 Today Anchor Colin Mayfield and will honor key contributors to entrepreneurship in the community.

The opportunities for these students do not end with the April 3rd event.

The top ideas will be invited to participate in a summer incubator program that could lead to several new startups led by students and supported by our business community.

Additionally, SQUARE1 continues to seek out startups and entrepreneurial companies to host students as summer interns. Contact keith@startatsquare1.com to learn more.

SQUARE1, a not-for-profit, is an entrepreneur education and business igniter providing resources to a broad range of professionals and students to help turn ideas and interests into thriving businesses and careers. Our mission is to uncover, educate, support, and inspire emerging entrepreneurs.
Orchestrate Technologies provides computer network and IT managed services, specializing in simplified, cloud-integrated and streamlined full-service network support for small and mid-market clients as well as small enterprise businesses. Since their founding in 2013, Orchestrate has grown by leaps and bounds. It currently manages cloud accounts in 46 states and 4 countries as well as offering full desktop support in 6 Midwest cities.


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One Comment

  1. Adam Kallmeyer says:

    This is fantastic example of things going right in our community. Dr. Schneider and his team are leading the way in education beyond the classroom. The training and mentorship these students receive from some of NKY’s business leaders is an invaluable experience. Our community is better because of SQUARE1.

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