Hannibal News

Local entrepreneurs participate in 'Shark Tank' presentation, receive investment money

The five entrepreneurs competing for grants, from bottom left, clockwise, Rashelle Porter of Monroe City, Karrigan Jones of Quincy, Jessica Stinson of Hannibal, Kinsey Tiemann of Palmyra and Connor Bogue of Hannibal chat with Hal Benedict from Hannibal National Bank Wednesday during the Meet-and-Greet before they gave their five minute presentation to an investor panel in Parker Theater at Hannibal-LaGrange College. | H-W Photo/Michael Kipley
Michael Kipley1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 13, 2017 8:50 am Updated: Apr. 13, 2017 9:03 am

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Five area high school students competed Wednesday for startup investment funds during a "Shark Tank" style presentation at Hannibal-LaGrange University.

The students displayed product samples and pitched their business plans to a panel of four local business leaders as part of the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

Hannibal is the first Missouri city to participate in the academy, a nationwide program designed to teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses.

"The five students we have are just incredible," chamber Executive Director McKenzie Disselhorst said. "They are just as prepared or more so (with their business plans) when compared to cities that have had this program for a while."

The students took turns showing investors PowerPoint presentations on their businesses and how much investment money they were seeking.

Hannibal High School senior Connor Bogue's business, Connor's Streetside Auto Detailing, is a mobile detailing business.

"Auto detailing is an art form," he said, explaining that he brings the service to customers while they are at work or don't have time to take their cars in for detailing.

Hannibal High School sophomore Jessica Stinson presented Kickin' Koffee, a small-batch coffee bean-roasting business. She told the audience she combined her love of tae kwon do -- something she has done for the past 12 years -- with her love of coffee to create the business.

"I use the highest quality of beans -- high altitude, fair trade, organic, single-source and low mycotoxin," said Stinson, who wants to sell bags of her coffee in local stores this summer.

Likewise, 15-year-old Palmyra High School student Kinsey Tiemann was inspired by a favorite activity. Her business, Square Rooted, partners with youths in the community through FFA chapters -- an organization to which she belongs -- to provide quality, locally raised farm-to-table products.

"The investment is in the future of the community through today's youth," Tiemann said. She added that she hopes Square Rooted can support five FFA members' supervised agriculture experience projects by September 2018.

Karrigan Jones, a home-schooled high school sophomore, presented Calli on Callaway, a business that designs, paints and sells calligraphy on canvases. She said she will market to "customers who desire to have inspirational canvases with Bible verses or quotes displayed in their homes." Jones paints all canvases by hand and will sell them on Etsy.

Monroe City High School junior Rashelle Porter's business, Neticflow, creates magnetically infused orthotics that provide support and increased blood flow in the feet.

"I've had this idea for my business since I was 12," she said.

Porter was inspired by a family member who has an extra foot bone. Unlike other orthotics products, Porter said, hers are the only ones with magnetics.

Although each student asked for investment money ranging from about $700 to nearly $1,000, each received more money than requested. In total, the four business leaders distributed about $5,000 to help the students expand their businesses.

They also were tasked with selecting a student to receive the Saunders Scholar Award and compete for college scholarships in Rochester, N.Y., against other Young Entrepreneur Academy students nationwide. Jones was picked to receive the honor.

"It's an amazing opportunity, and I'm so excited to go," Jones said. "I can't wait to get my business out there."

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