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LaunchHouse Recognizes Student Entrepreneurs from Shaker High

Three students from Shaker Heights High School were honored by LaunchHouse for their accomplishments

Shaker LaunchHouse hopes to foster more young entrepreneurs as a result of a new partnership with LightHouse, a Northeast Ohio nonprofit that invests in student executives.

The two entities announced the creation of LEAP — the LightHouse entrepreneurial accelerator program — at an event earlier this month. Organizors say it will give 10 to 15 students access to workspace, an entrepreneurial curriculum, a network of mentors, and possible investment funds to help turn ideas into startup firms.

The announcement was made at an event in which the two groups recognized area student entrepreneurs for their recent accomplishments. Of the 14 students honored at "A Night of Recognizing Student Entrepreneurs,” three attend Shaker Heights High School. According to LightHouse.com, they are:

  • Chris Hill, a Shaker Heights junior who runs Minecraft Nation a gaming company and server for more than 150 players.
  • Hope Gerald, a junior at Shaker, who operated a lemonade and food stand. Her total revenue was more than $3,000.
  • Gyasi Wingo, a senior at Shaker, who designs clothes for his streetware fair trade company.

“LightHouse is, essentially, LaunchHouse for students," LightHouse managing partner Zach Schwartz said in a statement. "We aim to provide support, mentors, investment, and space for the entrepreneurial student community in Cleveland.

“Our program, LEAP, is one of the nation's first-ever true business accelerators for high school students. We are excited to launch the inaugural LEAP class in the summer of 2013 at LaunchHouse.” 

Elmer Evans November 26, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Lemonade stands. Let this be the epitaph for Shaker Launch House.
Zachary Schwartz November 27, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Hey Elmer, this is Zach Schwartz, Managing Partner of LightHouse. Hope Gerald--who you're referring to in this story--managed to raise over $3,000 running a neighborhood food stand. This money enabled her to pay for school fees, AP tests and other educational costs that otherwise she may not have been able to afford. Objectively, she is a successful student entrepreneur who recognized a need in her community. For you to diminish this girl's accomplishment over the Internet not only disrespects Hope, but her school--which nominated her--and our community.
Mark Zetzer November 27, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Bravo to those who taught these young people how to create real jobs and wealth, and to LEAP for recognizing that yes, they did build that themselves. LaunchHouse is a great idea would make a great nonprofit like LightHouse, so LaunchHouse should pay back the taxpayer money it was granted from City Hall and continue on in the private sector. However well intentioned, Shaker taxpayers should not be forced to pay ever higher tax rates to invest in risky venture capital projects like LaunchHouse, among other nonessential 'services'.

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