The Girls Rule In “Shark Tank” Like Competition

By David Benda
Redding Record Searchlight, Calif.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) If the ninth annual Young Entrepreneurship Program competition in Redding is any indication, women entrepreneurship is in good hands. Several female owned business ideas made it into the final round of the “Shark Tank” like competition. The Winner, Alleyna Milligan and her idea for “The DipStick”, a straw that can detect date-rape drugs in a drink.

Redding Record Searchlight, Calif.

What started as an idea in her high school business class turned into a $1,000 payday for Alleyna Milligan.

Milligan’s business proposal, The DipStick, a nontoxic straw that can detect date-rape drugs in a drink, won the ninth annual Young Entrepreneurship Program competition Thursday.

Milligan, 16, a junior at Shasta High, pitched her idea to a panel of five judges in front of her peers, who practically filled up the main floor of the Cascade Theatre in downtown Redding.

“I feel amazing right now. I can’t believe it,” Milligan said afterward. “It was only yesterday I was practicing this in the classroom.”

China Milligan, Alleyna’s stepmother, said the competition was the culmination of hard work and determination.

“I’m so proud of her,” she said. “When she sets her mind to something, she gets it done. She literally did this on her own. This was all her.”

The event was put on by Shasta College and the California Community College’s Doing What Matters initiative. U.S. Bank provided the prize money, which totaled $2,500.

“I think it just gives students an opportunity to dream big for what they would want for their future,” said Chelsea Hendershot, small business industry deputy sector navigator at Shasta College. “It’s important for here in the North State because a lot of our businesses are made up of small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

The competition kicked off with 80 teams submitting ideas to Shasta College’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program, YEP, in February. Competitors had to be between 14 and 18 years old.

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