Friday, November 28, 2014 · 9:35 a.m.
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Howard students D'Angelo Foster (right) and Derelle Roshell (left) are in the process of launching their own chocolate business. Their idea came out of the LAUNCH entrepreneurship program. (Photo: Staff)

Leaders of Chattanooga nonprofit organization LAUNCH are hosting the second annual high school entrepreneurship competition, and organizers hope participants are inspired to think about their future and how they can contribute to their city. 

“This is a great time for high school students to look at the needs of their community and work toward filling that need,” LAUNCH Program Director Gina Soltau said in a prepared statement.

Founded in 2010, LAUNCH aims to empower community members through entrepreneurship, job training and mentorship.

If you go

What: Second annual LAUNCH High School Entrepreneurship Program competition

When: Dec. 2, 6 p.m.

Where: UTC Fine Arts Center

Other: The event is open to the public. Click here for more information. 

The winners of last year’s high school competition—D'Angelo Foster and Derelle Roshell—have created a product, engaged investors and are in the process of creating a business called GOTU Chocolate.

At the upcoming event, 12 groups of students from Howard School and Tyner Academy will pitch business ideas that they developed over the past semester in the LAUNCH High School Entrepreneurship Program.

They are competing for the chance to win a prize valued at $10,000 that consists of cash and business services to help fund their venture.

This year, 25 students are participating. That’s up from about 20 students last year, Rebecca Feldbin with LAUNCH said via email.

The students have participated in a 10-week entrepreneurship class and two Saturday workshops with LAUNCH staff members, and they have also worked with various volunteers from area businesses, Feldbin said.

A panel of judges from the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund will choose the winner.

The event is open to the public, and leaders said they hope the community comes out to support the students. 

“We are really excited to show the community what these students have to offer,” Soltau said.  “Over the course of the semester, the students have flourished and realized that there are small businesses that would benefit their communities and that it is their responsibility to take on.”

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