Inaugural Startup Scholars Regional Final

SQUARE1 Invites High School Entrepreneurs to Compete for Prizes and a Chance to Launch Their Startup Idea.

Inaugural Startup Scholars Regional Final scheduled for March 28th at Gateway CTC Center for Technology, Innovation, and Enterprise.

Covington, KY – Startups are vital our region’s economy. Dozens of tech startups launch out of local accelerators such as Brandery, UpTech and Ocean each year.

Even more hopeful entrepreneurs work through other support programs including those offered by SQUARE1, a nonprofit delivering startup and growth programs for B2B focused companies throughout the region.

SQUARE1 is on a mission to support the current group of startups, and to identify and mentor our next generation of startups by expanding our Startup Scholars program.

Thanks to generous supporters including the Louis & Louise Nippert Charitable Foundation, SQUARE1’s Startup Scholars platform will include a regional competition allowing students to earn recognition and prizes for their work.

Launched more than three years ago at Covington Holmes High School, the program had grown to include hundreds of local high school students.

“I have always enjoyed working with the students as they have such a unique perspective allowing them to create amazing ideas,” explains SQUARE1’s President Keith Schneider. “Startup Scholars is designed to help us capture this creativity, plant a seed of entrepreneurship in the students, and even launch a few businesses.”

The program runs in a variety of formats allowing SQUARE1 to engage directly with the students. This includes after-school programs, working with classes, and even group work during the school day. Students get exposure the startup process as well as enhancing a number of valuable career skills including opportunity recognition, presentation skills, teamwork, and communication. Whether they pursue entrepreneurship or not, the critical thinking skills and exposure to business professionals is a key benefit in developing future opportunities.

The Startup Scholars Regional Business Competition will take place at the Gateway CTC Center for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise on March 28th at 6 PM. Students will present their pitches to a panel of judges and the evening will conclude with a variety of prizes being awarded.

Students will compete in three different categories:
• Idea (not yet in the planning phase, but have a potentially game-changing idea)
• Innovation (New or improved idea, potentially STEM-based concept supported by research and/or business planning ), or
• Service/Retail (Serves individuals or businesses via retail storefront/online or provides consulting and expertise)

Six teams will advance to a final competition with an opportunity to win a share of nearly $5,000 in prizes. The regional final will be a luncheon at the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Education and Training Center in Erlanger. The event will not only showcase the students but will honor two outstanding promoters of STEM learning in Northern Kentucky, Tony Zembrodt and Dan Humpert.

Any student can apply for the contest. More information on the competition and SQUARE1 programs can be found at

SQUARE1, a not-for-profit, is an entrepreneur education and business igniter providing resources to a broad range of individuals interested in turning ideas and research into thriving businesses. To uncover, educate, support, and inspire underserved entrepreneurs.

Keith Schneider
President, SQUARE1, Inc.


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