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NKY High School Students Learn Value of Entrepeneurship

On Monday, April 1 and Tuesday, April 2, fifty students from Boone County High School and the Kenton County Academies of Innovation and Technology convened at Northern Kentucky University to learn how the fundamentals of business can make an impact on their community through the lens of social entrepreneurship.

The JumpStart workshop offered students a hands-on experience on team building, opportunity validation and pitching, business basics, and more. Programming included workshop-style learning on formulating ideas to address community needs. The program culminated in student teams’ pitches to a panel of judges.

“NKU and the Haile/US Bank College of Business are committed to developing the entrepreneurs and innovators of tomorrow. JumpStart is a wonderful way for us to cultivate those young minds. We are appreciative of the partnership with Connetic Ventures and Horizon Community Funds,” said Interim Dean Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer.

This year’s panel of judges introduced a new partnership between three organizations with an eye on the future. Connetic Ventures is a venture capital company that invests in startups through equitable, data-driven decision making. Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is a new community foundation working to unite resources to raise the quality of life for all people in the Northern Kentucky community. The Northern Kentucky University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers transdisciplinary programs to build an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset in its students, and connects them with resources and education.

“This is an important collaboration to increase student knowledge through social entrepreneurship,” said Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. “These are the kinds of partnerships we need to model for our region’s future entrepreneurs and leaders, by showing how they can impact their communities for the greater good.  Partnering with two strong Northern Kentucky female leaders in this effort made the experience even more rewarding for me.”

Each group was judged on their pitch by the value provided to customers, by how well they stood out from competitors, and by how they worked as a team.

“Exposing high school students to JumpStart, the entrepreneurial program at Northern Kentucky University helps promote the importance of innovation in the community,” said Connetic Ventures Principal Kim Banham. “Today, female leaders from Northern Kentucky were able to encourage today’s youth that an idea or concept can evolve into an actual business.  As a graduate of Northern Kentucky University, I understand the importance of education, community, and capital all working together to make Northern Kentucky a better place.”

From Horizon Community Funds