The Troy University IDEA Bank is known for helping TROY students kickstart their own businesses. Recently, high schoolers were given a chance to learn some of the techniques needed for building a business during the IDEA Bank’s Just Start Entrepreneurship Camp.
“Students from all around the area came in with a business idea of their own and they’ve cultivated that business idea into a business pitch,” said IDEA Bank Program Coordinator Mauree Alice Porter.
The campers were able to talk to and learn from local business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the week. Speakers also gave tips and encouraged campers to be creative with their own business ideas.
“Throughout the week, we’ve had many entrepreneur guests come in,” Porter explained. “[Campers] have been able to gain knowledge from those speakers and gained the experience side of things from those entrepreneurs.”
At the end of the week, campers participated in a business pitch competition to show off their ideas to family, friends, and a panel of judges. This year’s winner was Madelyn Vieira, who developed a clothing brand called ‘Exquisite Mindset Apparel.” The prize was a $2,000 scholarship.
“I am beyond grateful,” Vieira said. “I did not think it was going to be me because all my peers had such amazing ideas, and they were so creative.”
When signing up, campers had to have a business idea already in mind. However, some campers changed things up as the week went on. Porter said it was interesting to see the effort all the campers put into their businesses and the changes that were made to initial ideas.
“It’s been a really neat process to watch them build on those ideas they had coming in. Some of them have done a complete 360 and came up with a different idea,” she said.
To learn more about TROY’s IDEA Bank and its programs, visit its website here.