The must-need products of tomorrow, could be found tonight in downtown Eau Claire. It’s all part of the “FUSE” program from RCU and Delong Middle School “FUSE” stands for Future US Entrepreneurs. And students are ready to pitch some rather revolutionary ideas. Fox 25-48’s Jesse Horne has more.
Seventh-grader Macie Kendziera knows her mother is a last-minute shopper.
Macie: “She always gets these cards for people. She always finds these really hilarious cards, but she always has to look, like last-minute.”
And that gave her an idea.
Macie: “I thought that I would make a card business that could get things to you last-minute. And it describes their personality and the holiday of the person’s choosing.”
With that, Make It and Mail It or Mi-Mail for short, was born. This is a vision born from the “FUSE” program, and these future entrepreneurs. Now, the products that these students are developing are fantastic in their minds. But they’re also wonderful in the eyes of the judges, who will see them tonight.
Kathy Bareis: “When you see the ideas that they come up with, it excites me.”
Teacher Kathy Bareis has helped in developing the “FUSE” program. She says this is the age kids need to learn entrepreneurial skills.
Kathy: “I always say sixth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade are a great time to capture students, because they don’t know ‘NO’. They don’t know all of the obstacles and they’re going to push right forward.”
Macie’s idea is one of 16 pitches hoping to be chosen tonight as the “top performer”. But the competition between classmates isn’t a complete grudge match.
Macie: “It’s really cool how people work together and put their ideas into one. Yeah, it’s really cool.”
Emily Metcalf was named the top entrepreneur of the evening for her “Comfy Horse”, and won 400-dollars. Elsa Oplinger’s “Better for You, Bakery” was runner-up, and won a 100-dollars.