CEO students launch new business ideas at expo

Students in the Land of Lincoln CEO program will be showing their entrepreneurial spirit at the Business Expo scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at the American Legion, 1740 5th St., in Lincoln.

The CEO Class of 2022. Back row from left: Shivang Patel, Payton Johnson, Jordan Crowell and Alex Schmidt. Front row from left: Faith Sanders, Elizabeth Stewart, and Grace Doolin.

The CEO Class of 2022. Back row from left: Shivang Patel, Payton Johnson, Jordan Crowell and Alex Schmidt. Front row from left: Faith Sanders, Elizabeth Stewart, and Grace Doolin.

Seven students will showcase their ideas to local people who might find an interest in their products and services. The event is free and open to the public and serves as the capstone project for the year long program.

The students included in the show are:

  • In Stitches With Love, Crochet craft kits & gifts, by Faith Sanders

  • Harvest Moon Design Co., Custom wooden home decor, by Grace Doolin

  • Rustic Nail Wood Creations, Custom wood furniture, by Jordan Crowell

  • A5 Lawn Care, Full service lawn care by Alex Schmidt

  • Full Circle Catfish, Catfish fishing rigs, by Payton Johnson

  • Midwest Auto Pros, Full service auto detailing, by Shivang Patel

  • Over the Rainbow Earrings, Boho-inspired earrings, by Elizabeth Stewart

The program which teaches students a lesson in entrepreneurial thinking while also contributing to the economic development for the future.

Grace Doolin, of Emden and a student at Hartem High School, is anticipating meeting new potential customers and looking forward to showcasing what she has learned.

“We are all super excited for the trade show! There will be seven of us presenting our business at the event, and most likely about 150 people in attendance,” wrote Doolin in an email.

“Some of us are planning to sell products, some are taking orders and others that have service based businesses are reaching out to potential clients to spark some interest,” she continued.

“Overall, I like to think of this event as the launch of seven new local small business, and it’s a chance for the community to come check it out and show their support.”

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Lisa Kuhlman, who serves as the CEO program facilitator, first encourages students in the class to think outside the box.

“LLCEO students have been visiting with area business owners, hearing from industry experts, and consulting with mentors to learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur. The trade show is the culmination of these experiences,” wrote Kuhlman in an email.

“The CEO program is structured so that every participant will launch their own business at the end of the school year. It gives these young entrepreneurs hands-on learning opportunities as they do things like create a financial plan, formulate a marketing strategy, and learn what it takes to provide great customer service among dozens of other skills,” she continued.

“The students are excited to showcase their hard work and they have a lot to be proud of,” said Kuhlman.

Land of Lincoln CEO began in 2015 offering Logan County High School students a way of understanding the entrepreneurial principles through a hands-on educational experience.

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This year the LLCEO class participated in a local “Shark Tank” competition in preparation for the CEO national pitch competition sponsored by Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship.

According to Kuhlman the competition was a good experience to test what they have learned.

“The class participants were grilled about the details of their business, and ultimately judged. Their pitches were scored according to how they presented the problem and solution, call to action, how well they know their business, and their “secret sauce,” she smiled.

“They held up like champs!”

Kuhlman is encouraging the public to bring their wallets in order to help support these budding businesses.

For more information about the program, the student participants, or how to get involved with the program visit the LLCEO website.

This article originally appeared on Lincoln Courier: Business expo highlights CEO student projects