A North Augusta middle school student with ties to Union County is one of 15 students from across South Carolina competing in a statewide business plan competition at the College of Charleston.
Travis Grose, 11, the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Cunningham of Union, is a sixth grade student at Merriwether Middle School in North Augusta. He is one of 15 middle school and high school students from across the state selected to compete in the Motley Foundation Statewide Business Plan Competition. The competition is organized by Youth Entrepreneurship South Carolina (YESCarolina), non-profit organization dedicated to teaching South Carolina’s youth the principles of entrepreneurship and free enterprise.
In the competition, the students will present their individual business plans based on a curriculum created by The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a YESCarolina partner. As a student in Mrs. Jean Vess’ entrepreneurship class, Travis designed his own business plan for a lawn care company. Travis is the youngest of the students selected to compete in Wednesday’s contest.
Students taking part in the contest will each receive $200 seed money for their business and the chance to compete for the third place prize of $1,000, the second place prize of $2,000, and the first place prize of $3,000.
Travis’ grandmother, Mary Jane Cunningham, said Tuesday that the competition will get underway at 3 p.m. Wednesday and consist of two rounds with the students first presenting their plans to the judges. She said the students selected from the first round of competition will then present their plans before an audience that will include the judges, family members, friends and other interested parties. After the second and final round the overall winners will be announced.
“We’re hoping he will win,” Cunningham said. “But we are very proud that he’s been selected to compete against students who are in the sixth grade through juniors and seniors.”
Cunningham said Travis wants to be a businessman and open his own lawn care business. She said his interest in lawn care started at an early age.
“It started when he was 18 months old, when he came here to visit he always wanted to ride on his grandaddy’s riding lawn mower,” Cunningham said. “His daddy has a push mower and you can’t ride on that, so he thought riding on grandaddy’s riding lawn mower was wonderful.
“He definitely wants to be a businessman and work for himself,” she said. “He chose lawn care because he could work for himself.”
While his ultimate goal is to be a businessman and he is also working towards that, his grandmother said that will have to wait until he achieves another of his goals.
“That’s after he plays for the Atlanta Braves,” Cunningham said. “His goal is to play for Clemson and then for the Atlanta Braves.”
Cunningham said her grandson’s personality will serve him well as both an athlete and a businessman.
“He enjoys talking to people and he never meets a stranger,” Cunningham said. “He enjoys talking to people and is very outgoing.”
Travis is the son of Cindy and Mark Grose. His mother is a graduate of Union High School and was the Class of 1987 Valedictorian. A graduate of Clemson University, Travis’ mother is a teacher Merriwether Middle School where she teaches seventh grade math. His paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Grose.