CEO host their fourth annual StartUp Storm


Photo by Kimberly Roberts.

by Taylor Hereid, Staff reporter

Simpson’s Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization (CEO) hosted the fourth annual StartUp Storm on Friday, Nov. 16 to promote entrepreneurship to surrounding high school students. 

John Walker, professor of business management and the advisor for CEO, planned and organized the event. 

“This year we have 20 high school teams of five members each, so 100 students total, as well as a team of CEO students pitching their ideas,” Walker said. 

The teams received a pool noodle as their mystery item and had 45 minutes to create a product to pitch to the judges. 

The event lasted from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. where the students had the opportunity to listen to speakers, network and pitch their product.  

Molly Munk, a Simpson alumni who works for New BoCo in Cedar Rapids, spoke to the students on how to pitch their product. 

The other speaker, Nick Kuhn, the founder of The Hall and the Justice League of Food, spoke about starting his businesses, the changes he’s made and many of his successes. 

“I think anybody can be an entrepreneur or innovator, it doesn’t take a business degree. It just takes taking a chance and trying new things,” Walker said. 

Senior Trey Byers is this year’s CEO president on campus.

“As the president of CEO, my part in StartUp Storm is pretty much to just help facilitate the event itself. I’m pretty much engaged in introducing all of our speakers and sponsors. Just making sure that the event flows smoothly,” Byers said. 

This is Trey’s fourth time taking part in StartUp Storm and he hopes students learned skills to use in the future.

“The goal for StartUp Storm is to pretty much inspire students and people in the community to engage in entrepreneurship and take the stuff they learn and utilize it in their everyday lives or as they enter the workforce,” Byers said. 

Trey and his fellow CEO seniors formed a team to take part in the pitch competition. 

To be a part of something creative and innovative, such as StartUp Storm or CEO, contact Trey Byers, John Walker or any faculty member of the business or economics department.