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As first-place winners in BeEntrepreneurial competition, Harley Dauma, left, and Marli Bean, center, received $1,500 from the Invention to Innovation Center or i2C at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Robin Dauma congratulates the winners. CONTRIBUTED

Bean, Dauma reach first place in BeEntrepreneurial competition

MADISON – Two freshmen at Bob Jones High School claimed first place in a contest that transforms cerebral planning into specific ideas for business challenges.

Marli Bean and Harley Dauma received $1,500 in prize money on Dec. 10 for their work in the BeEntrepreneurial competition. The venture is associated with the Invention to Innovation Center or i2C and College of Business Administration at the University of Alabama in Huntsville or UAH.

In BeEntrepreneurial work, students can exercise their brains and add mental muscle by researching and developing ‘pitches’ that can benefit a business. Teams of students from area high schools have entered the be-Entrepreneurial pitch competition for the past three years.

“beE empowers the next generation of high school entrepreneurs to ideate (or imagine), collaborate and deliver new ideas,” Rigved P. Joshi said. Joshi is Director of I2C at UAH.

“Teams of talented north Alabama students, supported by brilliant teachers and mentored by individual business professionals in the Huntsville area, I2C and community mentors, competed in a business idea challenge to win cash from a $3,000 prize pool,” Joshi said.

Bean and Dauma named their project “Mentally Noted.” Their work was inspired by the pandemic and associated anxieties. As a result of their research, they created an app that essentially tailors music selections to mental health needs of an individual.

Joshi said 47 teams from across Alabama entered the contest. Initial work led to 26 teams on the shortlist, which was narrowed to six finalists. “It was close but the judges connected with your story and the way you presented the idea,” Joshi said in presenting the prize money to Bean and Dauma at a ceremony at Bob Jones.

The 2020 competitors included Bob Jones, James Clemens High School, Jemison High School, Randolph School, Huntsville High School, Hartselle High School and Madison Academy.

Marli is the daughter of Scott and Lori Bean. Harley is the daughter of Anthony and Robin Dauma.

For more information, visit uah.edu/i2c or be-entrepreneurial.org.

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