What was your typical Saturday morning like in high school?
For the thirteen students that just completed the prestigious LAUNCH! program, organized by UC’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (CEC) at the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, their recent Saturdays were probably more productive than a typical teenager’s.
These young entrepreneurs spent nine weeks (September 23 - November 18) engaging in university level curriculum, enjoying interactive exercises and games, developing and presenting their business ideas to real entrepreneurs and investors, and competing for cash prizes in UC’s Shark Tank.
The following high school students completed this term’s LAUNCH! program: Evan Bates, Avery Brown, Dauvae Davis, Juan Carlos Gaudiano, Richard Giang, Jarred Kelley, Nikita Khaykin, Everett Kohinke, Jacob Meadows, Sylvia Nica, Angel Prince, Yusuf Said, and Pranav Yenuga.
The students ranged from freshmen to seniors, with 62% of students representing minority groups. LAUNCH! students had an average GPA of 4.0, and demonstrated their creative thinking and excellent work ethic throughout the intensive program by developing business ideas and competing in a pitch competition.
Yusuf Said, recipient of the program’s Proactive Leader and Valedictorian awards, says of LAUNCH!, “For me, LAUNCH! is an opportunity to expand my knowledge of both business creation and business management. Everyone at the camp is extremely passionate about creating a company, which makes the experience of actually coming up with an idea and implementing it far more satisfying. In addition, the teachers and staff are extremely knowledgeable about the subject and I have learned so much about the various functions and departments in a business, how to operate a business, and how to come up with a brand new idea. This has given me the insight I need to apply my talent to create innovative products that meet the needs of society.”
Tom Dalziel, Executive Director of the CEC, says, “It has been an honor to facilitate a program with such high-caliber students. I am delighted that so many high school students have an interest in entrepreneurship and innovation. I’d like to thank our partners for their ongoing support for CEC programs because, without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”
LAUNCH! students also gained familiarity with Cincinnati’s thriving business community and startup ecosystem by interacting with companies around the city. This term, students visited the business development center, HCDC and engaged with guest speaker Chris Brinkman from KMK Law Firm. They were also supported by LAUNCH! sponsors Stan The Donut Man (located in Westchester/Liberty Township) and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region’s Chick-fil-A.
To learn more about LAUNCH!, visit http://business.uc.edu/academics/centers/entrepreneurship/students/youth-programs/launch.html.