Participating students can win up to $2,000 if they provide the best written business plans by Nov. 22 and wow the judges with their final presentations in January 2014. The local prize money is funded through the Dearborn Community Foundation and Economic Opportunities 2015 (EcO15). Another $10,000 grand prize is on the line for the county’s top student entrepreneur when he or she advances to compete at the southeast Indiana regional Maverick Challenge competition in February 2014 in Columbus.
“We want to show Indiana that some of its best young innovators are being raised and educated right here in Dearborn County,” said AIM YP Vice President Mike Wallace.
The Maverick Challenge was founded in 2008 by the Columbus (Indiana) Area Chamber of Commerce. The competition gives high school students in nine southeast Indiana counties (Dearborn, Franklin, Ripley, Bartholomew, Decatur, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Scott and Switzerland) the chance to learn what it takes to get a small business going. They’ll receive insightful direction on planning, learn to manage finances and network. The prize money can be used to pay for college or – as in A.J. Waltz’s case – make their Maverick business plan become a reality.
"If you have just an idea, this competition will help you take it to the business level, create a plan and get you set on a journey to success," said Waltz, owner and operator of Waltz Photography, Lawrenceburg.