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Bridget McManamon Takes Top Honors at 2017 “Shark Tank”

March 31st, 2017 by Amanda Hofland

bridget mcmanamonAfter an incredible Investor Panel Shark Tank event, we’re thrilled to announce that Bridget McManamon, a junior at Moorhead High School, took first place in the competition for her business, Herstory, receiving the most funding and advancing to the YEA! semi-finals.

Held on March 28 at Concordia College’s Offutt School of Business, a panel of investors from local businesses heard pitches from 17 local high school and middle school students who competed for real funding as part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program. McManamon was chosen to move on and will be among more than 100 students nationally selected to compete in the Saunders Scholars Competition in New York in May. There, she will compete for the opportunity to advance to nationals to win college scholarships ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, an all-expenses paid trip to America’s Small Business Summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., and business startup prizes.

Josh Teigen, president of Protosthetics, served as the students’ instructor throughout the year and gave opening remarks before the event kicked off. Dan Michaels, president of Dan Michaels Audio, Mix 101.9 talk show host and public address announcer for NDSU Bison football games, emceed.

Each student gave a 5-minute presentation, sharing an overview of their company, market research, marketing plan and goals. Then, they had a few minutes to answer questions from the investors. In the end, all students received varying amounts of funding for their business, and McManamon was awarded the most, placing her on top as our second ever YEA! winner.

McManamon’s business is a membership-based organization that serves to raise awareness and distribute menstrual hygiene products to local students that otherwise do not have access to them. She has already received a $3,000 grant for her business and has been able to make a donation of hygiene packages to women in need in Africa.

The other students’ businesses are as follows:

  • Taranvir Johal, Oak Grove High School, Protein+
  • Chase Monson, Fargo South High School, Greasel
  • Habiba Heshmat, Davies High School, Heshmarks
  • Josh Gronneberg, Davies High School, EvoManage
  • Evan Ohren, Cheney Middle School, E’s Clothing
  • Connor Dahlvang, Davies High School, Quick Shopper
  • Anushka Sikdar, Cheney Middle School, Light the Way Corp.
  • Chase Ohren, Cheney Middle School, Chillingtons
  • Fardosa Hassan, West Fargo High School, Reves Doux Patisserie
  • Derek Phelps, Davies High School, The Greenhouse
  • Max Lavitschke, West Fargo High School, TekLite Software
  • Assraa Al-abase, Cheney Middle School, Viz
  • Joanna Lin, Davies High School, Ecopotz
  • Logan Heger, Cheney Middle School, Dry Kicks
  • Cooper Chwialkowski & Tanner Paler, West Fargo High School, MN Pro

2016-17 yea class

Check out the photo album on Facebook!

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy has been such an amazing experience,” McManamon told us. “Some of my favorite parts have been working with my mentor Veronica Michael from the Impact Foundation and hearing from business leaders throughout our community. I have learned so much from this program and I have no doubt the skills and knowledge I have gained will be applied in my future. I am super excited to have won, I put a lot of work into my business and I really enjoyed getting to share it with the investors.”

Thank you to all volunteers and supporters of the program, and a special thanks to presenting sponsor Cornerstone Bank. We’re so proud of all the students’ work and can’t wait to cheer Bridget on at the semi-finals in New York!

If you know a great student for the next class, please encourage them to apply today. Applications are available at fmwfchamber.com/YEA.

Check out some of our favorite Tweets from the night!

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