MHS students, Jordan Gertsema, Morgan Selchert, Reed Hartman, Lexi Pinkert, and Derek Weinkauf, competed in the 10th Annual BIG Idea Competition. The BIG Idea Competition is a contest for South Dakota high school students to work individually or in small teams to create a business idea.
This year, student entrepreneurs from 37 South Dakota schools submitted 243 applications. Their ideas were judged by hundreds of volunteers statewide, and the top eight became finalists. Among the finalists were the team of Selchert, Hartman, and Pinkert. They envisioned an innovative outdoor pool and recreation area called Pribyl Pool. The trio competed in the final round by presenting their idea on Thursday, December 7, in Aberdeen. Honorable Mention honorees from Milbank included Leigh Oster and Katie Stodolski, Shelby Lee and Siri Bien, and Katie Wollschlager.
Michael Grabham, a Seattle businessman and former NSU student was the keynote speaker. Grabham, a serial entrepreneur, has started businesses, acted as a mentor for Seattle start-ups, and created the TV show Start IT Seattle.
The Milbank School District was also awarded a free Makerspace consultation. Makerspaces, also referred to as hackerspaces or fablabs, are DIY spaces for inventing, creating, and learning. Makerspaces allow artists and entrepreneurs to pool resources and talents and gain access to tools, information, and studio space. Typical items found in makerspaces are 3-D printers, sewing machines, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies, and tools – everything from welders to kilns. Travis Kiefer, founder of the technology company Ease and the mastermind behind the CREATE makerspace in Aberdeen, will conduct the assessment for the Milbank school and community.
Finalists at the Big Idea were: (l. to r.) Morgan Selchert, Reed Hartman, and Lexi Pinkert.
Participants at the final event were:(l. to r.) Jordan Gertsema, Morgan Selchert, Reed Hartman, Lexi Pinkert and Derek Weinkauf.