2021 Program Report

In 2021, GSE expands to two summer sessions!

GSE kept pushing boundaries and attaining new heights in 2021 as they added a second session to give 120 Kentucky teens, up from 72 in previous years, an opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial spirits and pitch their business startup ideas at two highly competitive Demo Days on June 26 and July 24.

The 2021 Demo Day finalists were the following:

GSE Session 1

  • First Place – BranchOut received $1,000 for the development of an app that connects high school students to educational and career opportunities in Kentucky. Team members were Joleen Gima, a junior at Harry Doss High School in Jefferson County; Jessa Zaheri, a sophomore at Scott County High School in Scott County; and Bella Marita, a sophomore at Notre Dame Academy in Kenton County.
  • Second Place – Fill It received $750 for the creation of a refillable laundry detergent system to reduce plastic waste while letting families use their favorite laundry detergents. Team members were Charlie Gorman, a junior at Highlands High School in Campbell County; Jenna Coles, a sophomore at Logan County High School in Logan County; Parker Cleveland, a junior at Highlands High School in Campbell County; and Sarah Freeland, a sophomore at Oldham County High School in Oldham County.
  • Third Place – Secura received $500 for the development of an app that connects women instantaneously based on location and need, allowing them to take self-defense classes together and access other opportunities and tools to defend themselves from an assault. Team members were Avery Shacklette, a junior at Meade County High School in Meade County; Savannah King, a junior at Highlands High School in Campbell County; Jill Heffernan, a junior at Sacred Heart Academy in Jefferson County; and Ella Stahl, a sophomore at Campbell County High School in Campbell County.

GSE Session 2

  • First Place – TEHRA received $1,000 for the development of an online marketplace that allows consumers to select from a variety of eco-friendly, sustainable home resources, from lumber to light bulbs. Team members were Divine Irakiza, a sophomore at South Warren High School in Warren County; Charles Tompkins, a sophomore at Elizabethtown High School in Hardin County; McKenna Sun, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Fayette County; and Nathan Palley, a sophomore at Henry Clay High School in Fayette County.
  • Second Place – Nexxus Bond received $750 for the creation of a durable and safe cover for chemotherapy ports, allowing patients to move with less fear of getting an infection or damaging their port. Team members were Katherine Coale, a sophomore at Bethlehem High School in Nelson County; Riley Weber Horowitz, a junior at Campbell County High School in Campbell County; Colin Esmeier, a sophomore at Covington Catholic High School in Kenton County; and Ethan Biddle, a sophomore at Johnson Central High School in Johnson County.
  • Third Place – SwimSafe received $500 for the development of an educational water safety organization that caters specifically to autistic children and their affinity for water. Team members were Kendall Harper, a junior at Western Hills High School in Franklin County; Cole Chambers, a junior at Christian Academy of Louisville in Jefferson County; Brenna Lambert, a freshman at Great Crossing High School in Scott County; and Ellie Thornsbury, a junior at duPont Manual High School in Jefferson County.

Program report coming soon.

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