Humboldt County Office of Education: 2021 INNOVATE! Business Challenge Finale This Week!

2021 INNOVATE! Business Challenge Finale This Week!

2021 INNOVATE! Business Challenge Finale This Week!

(Eureka)— Five Humboldt County high school students have made it to the finals and will compete in the INNOVATE! Business Challenge virtual finale on Thursday, May 20th beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Those interested can tune in on the INNOVATE! Business Challenge webpage and join the watch party.

The INNOVATE! Business challenge is a high school idea competition designed to promote entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. The challenge begins in fall and has three phases and three different sets of judges. In phase one, students create and submit business start-up ideas as 60-90 second video elevator pitches. This year 30 ideas were submitted with some students entering more than one idea. Judges review and score videos to select the top concepts to move into phase two.

The semi-finalists develop answer sets to 13 key business concept questions and have to showcase how they would develop viable business models, identify target customers, and make their business profitable. Phase two judges have the difficult job of selecting only five final concepts to present in a “Shark Tank” style event and compete for cash awards.

2021 Finalists

  • Chandler Mrotzek—nuken—Alder Grove Charter School
  • John Gerving—Byte-Sized Support—Arcata High School
  • Andrew Mettier—Futurism Motors—Arcata High School
  • Lila Davis—Bean Crochets—Six Rivers Charter High School
  • Giovanni Damonte—Good Day—Alder Grove Charter School

These five students will give their presentation pitch to judges who will listen, ask questions and deliberate to determine who will walk away with over $8,000 in cash and media.

Finale judges this year include Victoria Bennington from Bicoastal Media; Jennifer Budwig from Redwood Capital Bank; Donna Wright of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce; and Kyle Visser of Shred Aware.

Beginning Monday, May 17th, each finalist will be featured in a spotlight video leading up to the competition through the Humboldt County Office of Education social media platforms @HumboldtCOE.

For more information about the Business Challenge or any other INNOVATE! programs, please contact Karen Brooks at (707) 445-7563 or