Student to compete for $35,000 in prizes in Silicon Valley business competition

Staff Report
Published July 1, 2014

A West Ashley High School student will head to Silicon Valley in the fall to compete among 40 young entrepreneurs for $35,000 in cash and prizes.

Dekeiya Cohen, a senior, won $3,000 as the first-place winner of YEScarolina’s third annual state Business Plan Competition, which moves her on to the national level.

S.C. high school students competed for seed funding in YEScarolina’s third annual state business plan competition. (Photo/Provided)

S.C. high school students competed for seed funding in YEScarolina’s third annual state Business Plan Competition. (Photo/Provided)

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Cohen, who will be attending Baylor University on a full basketball scholarship, invented a training device to improve the catching ability of basketball players. She won the competition with her idea, The Catching Prodigy.

“Teaching entrepreneurship is more than teaching concepts; it’s providing the opportunity to teach life skills, allowing students to make their business dreams a reality,” said Jennifer Molnar, an entrepreneurship teacher at Fort Mill High School, in a statement.

Cohen will travel with the second-place winner, Jesse Horine of Fort Mill High, to compete in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in Silicon Valley on Oct. 9.

Horine won $2,000 for his business, SouthernFly, a brand dedicated to anglers and fly fishing. He would produce a Clouser Minnow pattern fly for fishing, as well as apparel and accessories.

Jeremy LaPointe, also of Fort Mill High, won third place and $1,000 with his idea of a homemade energy bar, OnPointe Energy.

Runners up included Charleston Collegiate students Paola Macias and Claudia Soto with Two Beans tamales and Riley Steward with Riley 2 the Rescue pet sitting service; and Jasmine Godbolt of Summerville High School with her child-care business, The Village.

Preliminary round competitors included students from James Island Charter High, Fort Dorchester High School, Crestwood High, Crescent High and Spring Hill High.

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