Invention Convention winner Charell Luckey throws her hands in the air as Melissa Paulsen, mentor Shannon Brown and Duane Wilson present her with a check.
To Charell Luckey, earrings made from parts of old
eyeglasses are not only eco-wear, they’re things of beauty. They also may be
the start of an entrepreneurial venture for the senior at Adams High School in
South Bend, Ind.
Luckey’s venture, “ReGlamerize,” recently took the first-place
prize of $500 in 2012 Notre Dame Invention Convention, a competition for local
high school students held March 29 at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza
College of Business.
The Invention Convention, in its 10th year,
invites local high school students to submit their best ideas for a business
venture into the competition, which begins in the fall. Sponsored by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship and the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC),
the event aims to enhance their business, academic and life skills through an
entrepreneurship curriculum provided by the Network for TeachingEntrepreneurship (NFTE).
The program cultivates a spirit of
entrepreneurship by providing innovative learning experiences relevant to the
entrepreneurial world. The students learn the basics of starting their own
business and engage with Notre Dame mentors to develop a unique business plan
of their own. This year-long program culminates with a business plan
competition, at which students have the opportunity to showcase their work.
Notre Dame undergraduate and MBA students participate as mentors and event
"The winners epitomize what we are trying to
accomplish in this program,” said Duane Wilson, Advanced Skills Program Director at the Robinson Center in
South Bend. “They are true entrepreneurs at heart and
demonstrated a commitment to develop their ideas into feasible business plans.
They took advantage of the ND mentors' wisdom, which enabled them to
present excellent plans with poise and confidence."
Seven ventures were named as finalists, with ventures
ranging from recycling athletic footwear to a party-planning consultancy. The
top three entries and their self-described missions were:
· Charell Luckey
(senior, John Adams High School) with “ReGlamerize”: The venture will provide customers with fashionable, unique, meaningful
and affordable pieces of jewelry that allows them to express themselves and
that can be worn for any occasion. The jewelry is made from recycled
materials, personalized to order, hand-made and of amazing quality. Not
only is it inexpensive and durable, but it makes great gifts, is a green
product, and turns sentimental/broken/important items into personalized
· Matt Danik
(junior, Clay High School) with “Danik’s Property Service”: The service provides top quality property
clean-up services at a low, affordable rate. We treat all customers and
property owners with professionalism and personal attention that will foster
long term return relationship.
· Tanner Stanton
(junior, Clay High School) with “Stanton Clothing”: Stanton is a clothing brand all of its own. Stanton brings
comfort and color to a market that has just slightly been touched. The
objective of Stanton is to bring color and style to sweat pants, giving male
teens and young adults a way to express themselves, while maintaining
comfort. Stanton is necessary because there is not a clothing company
that's main focus is on designs and colors.
“The Invention Convention fosters a terrific spirit
of achievement, community and collaboration in everyone who gets involved,”
said Melissa Paulsen, program manager at the Gigot Center. “Our MBA and
undergrad students bring so much enthusiasm to their work with the
high-schoolers, and the experience gives the younger kids a glimpse into how entrepreneurship
can open up an entirely new future.”
Contact: Melissa Paulsen, program manager,
(574) 631-7568, firstname.lastname@example.org.