High school students prepare to "LAUNCH" their businesses
Its an early weekend morning but instead of sleeping in, local teens are planning their future business strategies at an office in Chattanooga's south side.
Aimed at serving high schoolers and adults in undeserved communities, LAUNCH is a program that empowers people through entrepreneurship and is currently offered at three area high schools; Brainerd, Howard and Tyner High School.
"You don't have to graduate from college or wait to graduate from college or have an MBA in order to start a business and a successful one at that," LAUNCH board member, Shayne Woods says.
Many of the teens who participated Saturday are juniors at Tyner High School. "What we're working on is getting healthier drinks into our school," junior Damika Cox says. "All organic stuff. "Even the bottle would be eco friendly and freezable," her work partner, Johnny Richie adds.
They all have one short term goal, to take home the $10,000 grand prize at UTC's High School Entrepreneurship Competition in December.
"Almost in a Shark Tank style competition, friendly competition of course," says Woods.
Jaymel Chivers and Bryan Wilson hope their idea of making stylish athletic wear goes far. "We want to make it more affordable for people who can't afford to go out and buy Nike and Adidas," says Chivers.
They may be young but these teens are Chattanooga's future and the future looks bright.
"LAUNCH has now helped me decide what I want to major in in College," Wilson says.