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Finalists selected for the 2008 Notre Dame Invention Convention

by Jessica McManus

April 15, 2008

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The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Mendoza College of Business in conjunction with the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) announced eight finalists to advance to the 6 th Annual Invention Convention Youth Business Plan Competition, scheduled for Monday, April 21, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Finalists are students at South Bend Community School Corporation high schools, and will compete for $1,000 in cash prizes. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event held in the Giovanini Commons of the Mendoza College of Business. Notre Dame undergraduate and MBA students participate as mentors and event judges. The youth finalists will present business plans of their own design.

Throughout the year, the Gigot Center and RCLC work with young people from South Bend high schools to enhance their business, academic and life skills through an entrepreneurship curriculum provided by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). The program seeks to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurialism by providing innovative learning experiences, both within and outside of the classroom, relevant to the entrepreneurial world. At year-end, participants take part in this annual business plan competition to celebrate and share what they learned.

Notre Dame Entrepreneurship Club President Mark Bennett notes, “This program builds great future business leaders and fuels the young entrepreneurial spirit across the South Bend community. The finalists have developed and fostered a broad business mindset to take their original ideas to the market.” Invention Convention Student Coordinator Christian Guzman adds, "The Invention Convention promotes the family spirit across Notre Dame and the South Bend community. Building bridges through free enterprise is one of many important aspects for the future. Students in partnership with the community continue to learn and find new ways to making the world a better place."

Competition Finalists

Jonathan Brown“Creative Concierge Services”Clay High School
Whitney Burt“Nite and Day Getaway”Clay High School 
Ashley Jones “Good Times Restaurant & Arcade” Clay High School 
Brandon Johnson“Straight Faded”Clay High School 
Phyllis Johnson “Dancin’ Diamonds” Clay Middle School 
Paul Penn“Trauma Records”Riley High School
Christopher Rodriguez“Rodriguez Audio Specialists” Marian High School
Alexandra Soisson“Planned Partyhood”John Adams High School

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Contact: Jessica McManus Warnell, program manager, (574) 631-9182, jmcmanus@nd.edu