Hands-on Entrepreneur Camp A Success At LSC

COURTESY PHOTO

Participants in Lyndon State College’s iWOW Summer Entrepreneur Camp — a week-long day camp for middle-schoolers interested in becoming tomorrow’s business leaders.

LYNDON CENTER -- Lyndon State College and the Incubator without Walls (iWOW) program helped 17 middle school students develop their inner entrepreneur during an interactive summer day camp. The students spent a week on the Lyndon campus in July acquiring hands-on experience in the fundamentals of starting a business, entrepreneurship, and financial and social responsibility. The camp balanced schooling with outdoor, physical activities offered by the Lyndon Adventure Program.

Vermont-based guest speaker Tara Lynn from Tara Lynn Bridal engaged the students with advice about small business ownership and management. A field trip to Union Bank provided valuable information about what banks expect in a business plan and what a small business loan requires. LSC President Joe Bertolino lent part of an afternoon offering words of encouragement and wisdom to the campers.

The camp culminated in an "Elevator Pitch" competition Friday afternoon. Each camper had 10 minutes to present their plan for a new business to a panel of four judges. The winners won cash awards to assist in implementing their business idea. The winners were: Grand Prize -- Jackson Maloney; First Place -- Sam McCarty; Second Place -- Emily Langham; Outstanding Presentation Award -- Jackson Maloney.

The four judges were: Rodney Jacobson, LSC business professor; Ann Nygard, director of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (CRE); Ross Hart, VT Small Business Development Center (SBDC) -- Northeast Kingdom Advisor; and Laurel Butler, New Business Start-up Specialist for VT SBDC.

Union Bank and Lyndon Institute helped sponsor the camp; Northeast Kingdom Youth Services donated a scholarship to one of the campers.

IWoW is an initiative of the CRE. IWoW provides technical assistance to local businesses by engaging students and faculty to assess business needs, define optimal business performance steps, and implement solutions to fully develop the business' potential. The goal of the program is for students to gain the real- world skills needed by businesses while aiding area business to grow and create more jobs.

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