HAWLEY - On February 28, EconomicsP ennsylvania held an Entrepreneurship Day at the Settlers’ Inn in Hawley, sponsored by The Dime Bank. Eight teams of students from Wallenpaupack, Honesdale, Carbondale, Forest City, and Western Wayne attended a daylong seminar given by Robert Williams, Misericordia University, Director of Center of Economic and Entrepreneurship.

The teams had to develop an idea for an original product or service, research things like all of the expenses they could expect, the cost and profit margin of their product, marketing plans, and so on.  

On March 13, Carbondale High School hosted those teams when they presented their plans to a panel of volunteer judges comprised of local businesspeople Justin Genzlinger, Hawley Silk Mill and Settler’s Inn; Chris Ravencroft, Koberlein, Inc., Bill Boyle, The Dime Bank, Paul Browne, Carbondale Technical Transfer Center, Kenneth G. Okrepkie, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Scranton Enterprise Center.

Wallenpaupack teammates Bradley Shepps, Devin Distilli, Kayla Askey took 1st place with their business plan presentation for Paupack Waves, a device to power dock lights with wave action. Afterwards, teacher Gene Shultz said that the students had already won grants of $9,500 from the Lemeson MIT program and an additonal $2000 from PPL for an Empowering Educators to develop the product. The students are building it themselves and displaying it at EurekaFest at MIT in June.

Students from Forest City took 2nd place with their plan The Gift Tree. They have received a donated printing press which they are using to create and sell promotional materials, gifts and T-shirts. Their business plan maps out how they plan to expand the enterprise and move into a storefront in downtown Forest City.

Western Wayne teammates Scotty Walck, Matt Russo, Jacob Gillis, Abby Hemmler, Cassie Reeke, Bethany Giombetti, and Kayla Bolduc presented “The Pursitile," a multi-functional bag that can be worn three different ways.  It can be a duffle, tote or “hipster” style bag.  Each bag uses a combination of snaps, magnets and detachable straps to change each view.  It is made of canvas or duck fabric and broadcloth for extra durability.

 Gary C. Beilman, president and chief executive officer of The Dime Bank stated, “We are pleased to once again sponsor the Entrepreneurship Challenge to teach our area students the importance of free enterprise. This real world experience introduces a varied skill set and innovative thinking needed to flourish as an entrepreneur.  The quality of all the presentations far surpassed our expectations.

"We are full of pride to have such talented youth in our communities, and exceptionally proud that the Wallenpaupack team represented our area so well that they took first place and that Forest City took second place, and Western Wayne placed third.”