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Student entrepreneurs named pitch competition winners

The winners of INnovate Wabash County pictured with the competition’s panel of judges. (photo courtesy of Grow Wabash County)

WABASH COUNTY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Grow Wabash County has unveiled the winners of the 2022 INnovate Wabash County student pitch competition. The event featured student entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to a panel of business professionals, entrepreneurs and mentors.

The winning teams earned cash prizes ranging from $250 to $2,000. The organization says the panel was so impressed by the presentations, it decided to add a fifth place winner.

“This year’s slate of competitors really raised the bar. Not only did these students prove that they had an incredible knowledge of their products and businesses, but they proved that they had the passion and drive to make these ideas a reality,” said Keith Gillenwater, CEO of Grow Wabash County. “It was truly an incredible experience to be able to see the next generation of business owners step up.”

The winning teams include:

  • 1st place: Tackett Auto Detailing, auto detailing and service business run by Heartland Career Center student Heath Tackett
  • 2nd place: Eliza Grace, an art and home décor company owned by Heartland Career Center student Annie Schuler
  • 3rd place: RapidRoots, a compost subscription and delivery service owned and operated by Wabash High School students Eli Edmond and Coltyn Sellers
  • 4th place: Freyja, a feminine product subscription program that helps to combat and promote awareness of period poverty run by Wabash High School student Wyatt Buzzard, Cassie Murphy and Jordan Dragoo
  • 5th Place: Just Breathe; an apparatus for runners and athletes to use to carry their inhalers invented by Manchester High School student Paulette Martin

In addition to the cash prizes, the top three winners also received tuition vouchers to attend Ivy Tech Community College. First place will have tuition covered for up to two years, second place for up to one year, and third place for one semester.