By Jean Seegers


ROCKTON – Two new businesses may be popping up in the area in the near future. Slack n Snack, a food delivery system and Salted Art Incorporated, a teen publishing company, are poised to jump into the world of commerce.

Career and Technical Educator and Coordinator Jason Brunke has been the driving force behind development of the innovative program that helps students gain confidence and knowledge and promotes real-world business experiences through designing their own business models.

Snack n Slack was conceived and developed by Edward Ray, Ben Fiege and Trevor Storm. The Hononegah seniors have been part of the innovativeINCubator Entrepreneurship Program introduced in the fall of 2014. The program teaches students hands-on, real-life workplace skills not necessarily taught in the classroom.This is the second year of the program at Hononegah.

Salted Art is the brain-child of junior Omar Saulters. Turned away by several publishers after writing a book a few years ago, he decided to learn how to edit a book, self-publish it, and market it. The young author decided to start a production company that would cater to teen-only writers. Saulters is also writing a book titled Blood Brothers. His goal is to have the book on shelves by January 2017.

Several businessmen and women have been volunteering their time and expertise as mentors and coaches. Since the beginning of the school year, they have been visiting the classroom sharing their business expertise, offering encouragement, and financial and marketing advice.

On Monday evening, May 23, the young entrepreneurs presented their business models to community members, family and friends and members of the INCubator Board of Directors: Entrepreneurs Edward and John Yoho; former school board member Bob Geddies; Matt Lynch, Members Alliance; Michelle Mathys, First National Bank and Chuck Gilbert, Hendricks Development.

The presentation was held backstage in the Hononegah PAC.

Ryan Rydell, owner of RyCom Creative Corp is a coach, mentor and big supporter of the program. Rydell opened the program with the story of how he built his own business from scratch five years ago.

This year, Rydell helped the budding entrepreneurs with marketing advice. He helped Saulters create a website.

After completing his presentation, Saulters requested $15,000 from the Board in exchange for 15 percent of his business, and asked for $5,000 to fund the website.

Gilbert offered in-kind assistance for website development service. John Yoho said he would be available for consultation and advice.

Slack n Snack developers asked investors to contribute $4,000 in exchange for a 25 percent share of the business.

The service got a mixed response from Ed Yoho. His first attempt (at midnight) to contact the delivery service went un-answered.

The second attempt (on a weekend) was successful. Yoho offered $500 for 3 percent equity in the business and offered in-kind assistance.

He said even though the delivery fee of $7 is high, “People are willing to pay for convenience.”

Following power-point presentations, the well-prepared entrepreneurs fielded questions from the board and from members of the audience.

First National Bank and Trust, Members Alliance and Stillman Bank provided funding for the program.

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