Huntington, Ind.—On Oct. 20, Huntington University hosted the third annual Venture Works Youth Entrepreneur Symposium. One hundred twenty Huntington North High School students participated in the day-long event. Students were divided into 25 groups and experienced first hand how to invent a new video gaming system. Ideas from the sessions included motion integrated video game, gaming glasses, a game system which would play any game from any system, an arcade interactive gaming system, various levels of playability and the use of batteries that charged themselves when used. They were encouraged to be radical and different in their product creation.
After creating their product concept, each group was challenged to expand their product concept into a business concept. Each group determined the product, how it was different from other products, how they would make money, who the customers were and how the customers would use their product, and finally, where and how their product would be sold. The top eight groups presented to a group of five judges with the rest of their peers as an audience.
The winning business concept was called Vortec and their concept created a gaming system with an interactive suit and helmet with brain sensors. The team consisted of Kevin Fisher, Jacob Hoff, Mike Zahm and Jared Hughes.
The second place business concept was called Mi-Bod. Their system included an interactive treadmill virtual gaming system with additional accessories. Their team included: Miranda Sims, Stormy Bullock, Bryce Johnson, Levi Lawson and Taylor White.
The third place team was Caleb Sparks, Justin Laws, Kelsy Feltner and Shelby Bauman with Flex Vision. The Flex Vision system played games, movies and music. Additional features included a phone, glasses to take pictures and internet capabilities.
The Most Innovative Business Concept was awarded to Virtual Sphere. Their concept utilized a high definition helmet inside a collapsible sphere targeted for use in arcades and other attraction centers. Team members were Austin Newsome and James Moore.
The Most Energetic and Creative Presentation award was given to ENV Helm with Chris Waddell giving a “Billy Mays” style of presentation. Their concept was a gaming helmet that also could be used as a computer with a full qwerty keyboard. Additional team members were Nick Lafollette, Tyler Seabolt and Heaston Schwob.
Additional Team Finalists were Stealth, and team members were Jacob Miller, Jacob Ainsworth, Adam Wilson, and Garrett Brace; PHG (Portable Helmet Gameplay) with team members Caleb Duckett, Jason Ervin, Richard Chadwick and Logan Kyger; and EYN (Everything You Need) and team members include Aaron, Wolf, Tyler Houser, Tory Couch and Kasey Hackworth.
Best Buy gift cards were awarded to all finalists in various amounts.
Facilitators for the day included:
Michael Zahn, First Federal Savings Bank
Andy Zay, Zay Leasing and Rentals
Remound Wright, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center
Steve Franks, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center
Kay Schwob, Huntington University
Joy Conley, Miami Tool and Die
Greg Smitley, MarkleBank
Mark Wickersham, Huntington County United Economic Development Corporation (HCUED)
Dr. Ron Coffey, Huntington University
Joanne Green, Huntington University
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The mission of Huntington County United Economic Development is to foster cooperation, education and coordination of the public and private sectors; to promote and encourage retention and expansion of existing businesses; and to support attraction of new resources for diverse economic development that will enable Huntington County to prosper as a community.