This year the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce partnered with Blowing Rock School to offer an “Intro to Entrepreneurship” class to 8th grade students.

Students spent the year coming up with a business plan, a budget, marketing their business, and pitching their idea to a panel of “sharks” that would ultimately decide which student businesses would receive real funding to actually start their business. 

 
Hailey Gocke and Laurel Kiker received funding for their new businesses. Hailey's business, “Rose’s Art Boxes,” will go to hospitals and nursing home patients as a way to entertain and pass the time during those often long and arduous hospital stays. Hailey is going to begin building art boxes to distribute to hospital patients and hopefully develop it further as a nonprofit. 
 
Laurel's business, “Iced Up,” will focus on baking cupcakes and other baked goods, available for delivery locally. Laurel spent the entire school year experimenting at home with her icing, to the benefit and sometimes not, of her family's taste buds. 
 
The class was spearheaded by Zak Ammar, Blowing Rock Chamber Board Member and owner of Vixster Waste Services. Zak is a graduate of App State’s MBA program and was the winner of the 2016 Business Pitch Day hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship, making him a great leader for the class.
 
Zak co-led the class with Blowing Rock School’s Digital Learning Coach, Robert Smith. 
 
App State's Erik Schlenker and Blowing Rocks Chamber of Commerce's Tim Hilton, Jim McDowell, Loni Miller and Charles Hardin also assisted.
 
Precision Printing donated business cards to all of the entrepreneurship students.