Business students win big

Humboldt High School students compete in Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The winning team won $1,000 for their 'cough gum' innovation.

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March 4, 2024 - 1:51 PM

Faith Coykendall, from left, Chanlynn Wrestler and Jenna Malloy present their business plan, “Wild West Boutique” in front of judges for the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge on Friday in Humboldt. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

HUMBOLDT — A sore throat gave Sam Hull idea: “Hmmm. What if I made some cough gum?” instead of cough drops.

The Humboldt High School senior teamed with Colden Cook and Patrick Reed to come up with a business plan to create Bert’s Cough Gum.

The trio’s presentation won the top prize in Saturday’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The students were awarded $1,000.

Ten Humboldt students — either as individuals or as teams — presented five business plans. The students attend Logan Wyrick’s entrepreneurship class at HHS.

The event was a partnership with Allen County e-Communities.

Local community members and business owners served as judges for the students’ five-minute presentations. Judges were Damaris Kunkler with A Bolder Humboldt, Jared Wheeler with Thrive Allen County, Sharla Miller with Farm Bureau Insurance and Bailee Henry from NetWork Kansas.

The winning entry competes at a state competition on April 16 at Kansas State University. Other students can submit a “Wildcard Entry” to compete for one of 15 slots at the state event.

This is the first time Allen County has offered the contest. Amanda Clasen, an agent with the Southwind Extension District, said the hope is to invite students from all Allen County schools next year, and to add a tradeshow to allow students to showcase their skills and products to the public.

This is the 11th year NetWork Kansas sponsored the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Last year, 56 local-level contests were held with 1,136 middle and high school students competing across the state for more than $90,000 in prize money. 

Prizes were provided by a $2,000 NetWork Kansas grant and E-Community funds. In addition to the first place team, other winning entries were:

2nd place: Wild West Boutique by Faith Coykendall, Jenna Malloy and Chanlynn Wrestler. They won $500.

3rd Place: Back to the Drawing Board by Evey Dye, $300;

4th Place: Forever Flower by Zachary Hegwald, $100;

5th Place: Mess Away mess cleaner: Brody Gunderman and Cole Mathes, $100.

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