Future Founders contest fuels innovation in high school students

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Chicago high school senior Anthony Driver was named the champion of the 2011 Future Founders Citywide Business Plan Competition and also won the technology category at the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center’s “American Idol”-style contest held May 4 at the Hard Rock Café in Chicago. Driver, who is a student at Chicago International Charter School’s Ralph Ellison campus, created Charge `N’ Go, an electronic device that charges consumer electronics.

The contest recognizes the achievements of high school students who participated in the Future Founders program, which is designed to teach business skills to underserved high school youth.

Other winners included Karalyn Kelley, a junior at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, who won the product category for Food Girl, a business that prepares and delivers lunches for high school students, and Michael Padilla, a freshman at EPIC Academy, who won in the service category for Off the Map Tutoring, an academic tutoring service.

More than 200 high school students participated in the Future Founders program this school year. The program also involves 125 Chicago-area entrepreneurs who mentored the students as they developed business plans and launched businesses.

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