State Bank and Carmel Education Foundation Partner for Carmel High School “Start Me Up Cup” Event

Three Students Receive “Start Up” Grants

For Immediate Release May 18, 2023

Three Carmel High School students are now one step closer to starting and growing their new business after winning grant money from a “Shark Tank” experience. The students recently pitched their entrepreneurial business ideas to a panel of local business leaders, otherwise known as the “sharks,” in the inaugural State Bank Start Me Up Cup competition. The Start Me Up Cup idea encourages young people to explore opportunities in entrepreneurship either as an addition to, or alternative to post-secondary education. More than 100 students formulated ideas within their Principles of Business Management class. Championed by Josh Shelton, a business teacher at the high school, students learned what is involved in creating a business plan including financial projections, market analysis and sustainability.

“The State Bank Start Me Up Cup afforded our students the opportunity to participate in a semester long project culminating in an authentic learning experience that incorporated all facets of the Principles of Business Management class curriculum,” said Joshua Shelton State Bank provided funding for the winning proposals and the Carmel Education Foundation (CEF) engaged community partners to serve as panelists. While many students in the classes had creative ideas, there were three that felt confident enough to face the sharks with their pitch.

Josh Shelton, Carmel High School, Andee Marlee, Loren’s AF Beverages, Andy Pinegar, State Bank, Chris Prader, RPM Technologies, Jennifer Penix, Carmel Education Foundation, Jim Badger, State Bank, and David Glynn, CoasterStone awarded State Bank Start Me Up Cup winner Joshua Goodspeed with $2,000 to further his lawn business.

Wyatt Gasche presenting his “Why We Left” project to the Sharks.

Lilliana Cate proposed an online boutique catering to young women of all sizes, Christian (Wyatt) Gasche is writing a series of fiction books centered around PTSD, and Joshua Goodspeed focused on growing his existing lawn care business. The judges, who are all community partners of the Carmel Education Foundation, were: Andee Marley, Loren’s Alcohol-Free Beverages; David Glenn, CoasterStone; Jim Badger, State Bank; and Chris Prader, RPM Technologies.




The student entrepreneurs are excited to move forward with their ideas and are grateful to State Bank and CEF for the opportunity.

“The State Bank Start Me Up cup gave me an opportunity to not only learn what I need to do in order to run a successful business but also gave me an opportunity to bring my ideas to life and to feel like I could actually make my ideas happen,” said Wyatt Gasche. Lilliana Cate expressed “The “Shark Tank” meant a lot to me because I am now able to start a business that I have been dreaming of since I was little. I am very thankful that I was given this opportunity and funding to start my business!”

While each judge had a different lens, all agreed that the students were well prepared and had ideas with great potential. Goodspeed won a $2,000 scholarship to grow his business, and both Cate and Gasche received $500 for their concepts. Additionally, the judges hope to connect these students with other business leaders that can mentor and help them grow their ideas. “It has been exciting and rewarding to see these young people take their entrepreneurial ideas from concept

Lilliana Cate pitching “Pink Lemon” to Start Me Up Cup panelists.

to business plan and culminating with the pursuit of capital for their business,” said State Bank’s Hamilton County Market President, Andy Pinegar. “We work with business owners every day and serve them as trusted advisors in support of entrepreneurship and investment throughout central Indiana.”


Jennifer Penix, Executive Director of CEF, is excited about the potential growth of the Start Me Up Cup program and hopes that more Carmel students interested in building out their own business concept will enter the competition next year. As a parent of young entrepreneurs, she has seen firsthand the positive impact that comes with success, as well the learning that comes in facing challenges any business will inevitably face. “I am grateful to work with engaged community members who believe in providing opportunities for students to learn and become successful in whatever path they choose upon graduation,” said Penix. “The Foundation’s mission is to support Carmel students in achievement and lifelong learning, and the Start Me Up Cup is a perfect example of putting our mission to work.”

About the Carmel Education Foundation

One of the oldest foundations of its kind, the Carmel Education Foundation was created to help Carmel Clay students achieve their full potential. Since 1966, the Foundation has awarded over $2,100,000 in college scholarships to Carmel High School seniors and over $1,000,000 in education grants to inspire lifelong learning for Carmel Clay students. The Carmel Education Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors who give their time and energy to accelerate the Foundation’s mission by funding grants, awarding more than 80 scholarships annually and expanding resources for Carmel Clay Schools.

About State Bank

State Bank is a $741 million community bank headquartered on the west side of Indianapolis. In addition to operating 11 full-service locations, State Bank is a part of the AllPoint™ ATM network of 55,000+ ATMs nationwide. Bauer Financial has named State Bank a 5-Star Bank based on its strength and performance since 2017. Its offices are in Avon, Brownsburg (2), Plainfield, Lizton and Pittsboro in Hendricks County; Lebanon (2) and Zionsville in Boone County; Carmel in Hamilton County; and Lafayette in Tippecanoe County. Visit to learn more.

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