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Geneva High School’s Panther Pitch Finalists left to right: Sydney Mittiga, Jack Harris, Alan Cha, Nicole Morley, Bryna Gage, Cassidy Prejean, and Joon Jhang.

Come See Panthers Make Their Pitch

GENEVA – Ice cream infused with sprinkles. A high end clothing line that contributes profits to local charities. Love expressed with jewelry formed from recycled goods.
These are just a few of the ideas that young Geneva entrepreneurs hopes can send them along the road to riches.
The Second Annual Panther Pitch – a sort of Shark Tank event without sharks sponsored this year by Red Jacket Orchards – will be held at the Geneva Community Center, 160 Carter Road, Wednesday, March 28th at 7 p.m. The young entrepreneurs, all winners from a business class competition at Geneva High School, will appear on stage and try and persuade a panel of local business leaders that their idea is the next hot thing in the Finger Lakes.
The public is invited and admission to the Pat Collins Black Box Theater is free and Red Jacket refreshments will be served.
“We have some really sharp ideas this year,’’ said Stephen Muzzi, the GHS teacher who partners with Hobart and William Smith Colleges Entrepreneurial Study Program to incubate these ideas each year. “Geneva’s kids have a lot of energy for pursuing both good and good ideas. The goal was to propose innovative ideas with a social conscience. ‘’’
The five finalists, who will present at next Wednesday’s event, were selected from among all students in Muzzi’s economics classes. HWS students, who are in the local colleges’ own entrepreneurial studies program, have mentored their high school counterparts and a number of them will be on hand to watch the high school entrepreneurs stand and deliver. Andrew Silard the winner of the 2018 HWS Pitch will share his pitch that night.

This year’s competitors, all seniors, include:

 Cassidy Prejean , proposing a project that matches the homeless up with abandoned pets to result in homes for both.
 Jackson Harris, creating a high-end clothing line that promotes Geneva pride by allowing buyers to direct a percentage of their spend to local charities.
 Alan Cha and Joon Jhang, suggesting a Korean confectionery and culinary business that promotes cultural understanding.
 Nicole Morley and Bryna Gage, a mobile ice cream truck serving soft-serve products with sprinkles “infused” throughout the product.
 Sydney Mittiga, who is proposing to launch “Wood You Marry Me,” a jewelry store that will create wedding and engagement rings made of local recycled materials.

The judges for this year’s Panther Pitch include:
 James Emery Elkin, local restaurant and bar owner.
 Amy Forbes, Associate Director of Hobart and William Smith Colleges Centennial Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
 Sage Gerling, Acting City Manager and director of the city’s Neighborhood Resource Center.
 Craig Talmage, who teaches in the HWS Entrepreneurial Studies program.

Panther Pitch is being hosted at the Boys & Girls Club’s Community Center and is sponsored by Red Jacket Orchards, a Geneva-based company that sells fruit and fruit juices throughout the U.S.

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