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PA Students Try Business Start-Ups

     by Mickey Smith

     Two budding entrepreneurs from Peoples Academy got a chance to see what it takes to start up and operate their own business through a new program offered by the Governor's Institutes of Vermont (GIV).

Emma Rapp and Kayla Carr

     From July 7 to 12, Vermont Tech in Randolph Center hosted the first Entrepreneurial Institute  (GIV-E), which was open to high school students who are entering their sophomore to senior year of school. Kayla Carr will be a junior this year and Emma Rapp is entering her senior year. They each learned of the program through PA English teacher Moira Donovan, who encouraged them to apply.
     For Kayla, it was an opportunity to get a taste of what it takes to run a business. She said she likes the idea of owning a business, but isn't quite sure yet what she wants to do. Emma has a path already in mind. She's a baker and hopes to open her own bakery at some point.
     The program ran through idea generation and evaluation, all the way to a “rocket pitch” competition where the teams had 10 minutes to pitch their business ideas to a group of experts – including business professionals and faculty.
     Along with spending their week getting their business idea ready for the pitch, they had interactive learning sessions, including time with the new product development team at King Arthur Flour and guest lecturers from the business world, including Chris Kaiser, of Morristown's Vermont Peanut Butter Company.
     Kayla's group created a website called “Moosic,” which would serve as a booking service for up and coming artists. Artists could upload their music to be heard by bookers for bars and clubs. Emma's group (which won the competition) created Charr Development – an app that would sync smart phones to share music, sort of a virtual earphone splitter.
     Kayla said at first it all came across as a little intimidating, but as they got involved everything became more exciting. Emma noted at first she wasn't sure she would be able to start her own business, but she left with the confidence to think she might be able to do it.


This Week's Photos

Dozens of employees at Vermont Electric Cooperative participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Friday, August 15 after being nominated to do so by Green Mountain Power. Along with a large group that completed the challenge in Johnson VEC also had employees at their offices in Grand Isle, Newport, and Richford also participate. All told 60 employees of the utility took on the challenge. Seen above on the right is VEC CEO David Hallquist as he is doused by Scott Gillespie. On the left Kathy Thompson can be seen dumping an ice bucket on a kneeling Rich Hughes. While VEC is prohibited from making formal company donations without permission, individual employees of the utility have been making donations to the ALS Northern New England Chapter.   - Martin photos





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