Student-Created LMS Integration Wins Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship education, has announced the winners of its Midwest Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, an annual Shark Tank-style pitch event in which local high school students compete for seed capital to fund innovative business ideas.

Taking first place and a $1,500 cash prize was Ariana Whitaker from Thornwood High School in Chicago, for DigiPlan, an app that integrates with learning management systems to gamify assignment completion and enhance productivity. The app uses a student's course and extracurricular information to provide a customized schedule, including a plan to limit distractions and procrastination. When students complete an assignment, they receive points that eventually add up to a reward.

Other awardees were:

  • Second place ($1,000): Raahi Pachbhai from St. Louis Science Center, for Lights On, a charitable nonprofit that creates adaptive clothing and prosthetics for people with physical disabilities;
  • Third place ($500): Tywon Barber from Beloit Memorial High School in Wisconsin, for Ty's Tech Repair, an IT services shop for computer repairs, upgrades, basic hardware replacement, and software issue resolution, where teenage interns gain hands-on experience under the guidance of a lead technician;
  • Fast Pitch People's Choice winner ($250): Jaylin Metcalfe of Thornwood High School; and
  • Runners up ($100 each): Ay'ana Singleton of Cleveland Metropolitan Remote School and Sayana Scott of Saint Louis Science Center.

The winners will compete as finalists in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, taking place in New York on Oct. 10.  

"We are extremely proud of all of our youth who have competed across the Midwest," said Dr. Scott Nasatir, executive director of NFTE Midwest, in a statement. "These young entrepreneurs are not only creating innovative ideas to solve complex problems, but they are also extremely passionate about improving their local communities, which makes us so proud of them, their teachers and families!"

For more information, visit the NFTE site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].