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Stress ball business plan wins ninth-grader $1K

Boyle County High School freshman Brandon Dorn won a $1,000 scholarship and $250 to invest in his business idea Thursday during the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneurship Program at Boyle County High School.

The business program, taught by David Christopher, takes students through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a semester. At the end of the semester, students compete for business funding and scholarship money based on their business ideas and business plans.

As part of the class, students visited area businesses, met entrepreneurs and professionals including attorneys, accountants and bankers, developed a business or social movement idea and worked with mentors to develop their projects.

Students then pitched their ideas on Thursday to a panel of judges made up of economics professors from Centre College, including Dr. Michael Fabritius, Dr. Brian Hutzley and Dr. John Perry.

Before the awards were given out, all three judges said the students’ business ideas were good and it was difficult for them to make a decision.

Hutzley told the group of students that most businesses fail not because of bad ideas, but because of financing issues.

Perry said to be an entrepreneur, the trick was to have creative thinking and “finding your niche — capture that in a container and take it to market.”

When Dorn, 14, was announced as the scholarship winner, he appeared to be stunned, as his classmates cheered and clapped. Afterward, Dorn said he plans to attend Morehead University when he graduates high school and major in music and aerospace engineering.

His business, Rainbow-Relief, is basically a hand-held stress relief ball covered in fur.

Other winners included:

• $500 investment — Madison and Madison Cattle Company, owned by Madison Warren and Madison Cornelius, who are both juniors. The business plan is to buy and sell all grass-fed beef cattle.

• $500 investment — Rewear, owned by Paul Webb and Sam Johnson, both seniors. The business is based on finding vintage clothing at thrift shops and selling it for a profit.

• $250 investment — Southern Style Kettle Corn, owned by junior Cole Tewmey, and seniors Tanner Southerland and Clay Griffith.

• $250 investment — Essential Wicks, owned by seniors Mackenzie Leines and Allison Goble. The business makes and sells non-toxic candles.

• $250 investment — Truly Tailored Tools, owned by seniors Tristan Harp, Taylor Sims and Taylor Haggard. The business idea is a multi-purpose utility gloves with lights, hand warmers and removable fingertips.

• $250 investment — Smart Packing, owned by freshman Devin Burnette. The idea is a solid box with a bluetooth operated lock where home deliveries can be safely locked in the box on the owner’s property.

Other student-owned companies that competed in the class were:

• Graphix Design, owned by seniors Josh Ragan, Royce Blevins and Jacob Goins. The business would create cartoon characters for athlete recruitment purposes on social media.

• Squeeqy Clean, owned by junior Chris Phillips and sophomore Caleb Holderman which is a business making non-toxic shoe cleaner.

• NoteMaster, owned by freshman Hagan Webb and junior Gentry Brummett. It’s a business for customized calendar scheduling.

• R.C.C., owned by juniors Hayden Bottoms and Chase Mcquade. The business involves the manufacturing of protective fishing rod cases.

• RM Food, owned by sophomores Makayla Brown and Emily Glasscock and senior Emma Stith. The business is a mobile food truck.