Press release from AIM Young Professionals of Dearborn County
2013 East Central High School graduate A.J. Waltz (center), of Bright, receives input from judges Pat Krider (left) and Mark Banschbach on his winning business plan in the 2012-13 Dearborn County AIM YP Maverick Challenge. AIM YP is currently accepting registrations from local high school juniors and seniors for the 2013-14 Maverick Challenge.
(Dearborn County, Ind.) – Last spring, East Central High School Class of 2013 member A.J. Waltz won $3,000 participating in the first ever Maverick Challenge sponsored by AIM Young Professionals of Greater Dearborn County.
This year, even more Dearborn County high school students will have a shot at winning up to $12,000 in the startup business competition pitting them against their fellow aspiring entrepreneurs throughout southeast Indiana. The success of AIM YP’s first year administering the Maverick Challenge in Dearborn County has inspired the group to continue the program for a second year in 2013-2014.
“Maverick is a program which reflects AIM YP’s belief that the county’s brightest and most promising minds can find success in life and their careers at home,” says AIM YP President Hollie Stoops. “The winner can put their prize money towards college or their business.”
Online registrations to compete in the AIM YP sponsored local Maverick Challenge are being accepted now through Friday, September 13 at maverickawards.com/maverickchallenge. Students can also inquire with their high school guidance office.
Senior and junior students attending Lawrenceburg, East Central, or South Dearborn high schools are eligible to compete, as well as any Dearborn County senior or junior living in the county, and attending high school outside the county. There is no cost to register. Competitors don’t have to go at it alone as teams of up to three students – whether from one high school or different schools within the county – are allowed.
Students don’t need to be operating their own business to enter or have a shot at winning – they just need a good idea, a willingness to put pen to paper, and the desire to see their business plan completed. Participants will have access to online tools and receive plenty of expert assistance along the way. AIM YP has assembled a panel of local business owners, managers, and service providers to give the students valuable advice regarding their written business plan.
Participating students can win up to $2,000 if they provide the best written business plan by November 22, 2013 and wow the judges with their final presentation in January 2014. The local prize money is funded through the Dearborn Community Foundation and Economic Opportunities 2015 (EcO15). Another $10,000 grand prize is on the line for the county’s top student entrepreneur when they advance to compete at the southeast Indiana regional Maverick Challenge competition in February 2014 in Columbus, Indiana.
“We want to show Indiana that some of its best young innovators are being raised and educated right here in Dearborn County,” said AIM YP Vice President Mike Wallace.
The Maverick Challenge was founded in 2008 by the Columbus, Indiana Area Chamber of Commerce. The competition gives high school students in nine southeast Indiana counties (Bartholomew, Dearborn, Decatur, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Scott, and Switzerland) the chance to learn what it takes to get a small business going. They’ll receive insightful direction on planning, learn to manage finances, and network. The prize money can be used to pay for college or – as in A.J. Waltz’s case – make their Maverick business plan become a reality.
"If you have just an idea, this competition will help you take it to the business level, create a plan, and get you set on a journey to success," said Waltz, owner and operator of Waltz Photography in Lawrenceburg, speaking from experience.
AIM Young Professionals of Dearborn County is an organization committed to the development of a highly diverse and enthusiastic network of strong social, professional, and charitable relationships for the purpose of creating awareness of the infinite opportunities in Greater Dearborn County. We are dedicated to assisting the youth of today so they may realize their true potential and assist in their quest to identify their individual path for success.
AIM (Achieve, Inspire, Mentor) is a sub-organization of the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce. It was co-founded in 2009 by Amanda Ewbank and Andrea Ewan.
The organization is led by an Advisory Board of eleven members. They are President Hollie Stoops, Vice President Mike Wallace, Secretary Kate Jansen, Treasurer Tom Palmer, Erin Boyce, Amanda Ewbank, Andrea Ewan, Adam Gilliam, Alan Miller, and Mike Perleberg.
AIM's official website is www.aimyp.com. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter, @aim_yp.