Holler Youth Collaborative

With team member Carolina Johnson looking on, Randy Jack Pollard of Holler Youth Collaborative explains elements of the team’s business model during the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy’s ‘Big Idea Pitch Contest.’ Holler Youth Collaborative was awarded second place by the panel of entrepreneurs serving as judges.


Paul McManus volunteered to try out Smarket’s virtual reality software during the team’s presentation for the ‘Big Idea Pitch Contest,’ the culminating highlight of the first annual Appalachian Entrepreneurial Academy hosted by Appalachian State University in partnership with EntreEd, STEMWest, and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Self assessment scatter chart

In the self-assessment scatter chart, few of the participants in the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy had any confidence in the beginning (blue dots) that they had what it takes to be an entrepreneur. By the end, though, their confidence had skyrocketed.

Tim Hilton

The judges for the Appalachian Entrepreneurial Academy’s pitch contest asked some tough questions of the student participants, but here Tim Hilton, center, smiles broadly after an answer from the Diamond Grounds & Marketplace team’s Victoria Spencer.

Girl Gain

All of the student presentations were videotaped during the ‘Big Idea Pitch Contest’ on July 22, for the Appalachian Entrepreneurial Academy. Girl Gain built their idea on ways they could help a target market of women, aged 20-30, feel more secure in various settings, such as the gym and free from harassment.

Grandview Ballroom

The Grandview Ballroom in the North End Zone of Kidd Brewer Stadium served as the venue for Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy’s final contest, luncheon and keynote addresses on July 22.

Erich Schlenker

Erich Schlenker, Director of the Transportation Insight Entrepreneurship Center in App State’s Walker College of Business served as emcee for the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy’s July 22 proceedings.

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