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Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

To the busi­ness ideas pitched by young county en­trepreneurs as part of the first-ever Start-Up Ce­cil show­case Mon­day night. More than 20 teens, rang­ing in age from 11 to 17, gave a “Shark Tank” style pre­sen­ta­tion of their busi­ness plans be­fore a panel of judges at the Elk­ton Cen­tral Li­brary for a chance to win prizes and other busi­ness-re­lated items. The show­case, which was run by the Ce­cil County Public Li­brary, was the cul­mi­na­tion of a three-part series that kicked off in June with two classes de­signed to teach teens what it takes to cre­ate a small busi­ness. Joseph Grapes, 12, won first place for his Help­ing Hands plan, which fo­cuses on help­ing elders with tasks such as lawn and yard work, car washes and in­door chores. Sec­ond place was awarded to Caro­line Lit­tle, 11, for her Man­ag­ing Veg­e­ta­tion with Goats plan, which uti­lizes goats for lawn work. Third place went to Bran­don Gold­berg, 11, for his Pet Pa­rade Dog Ser­vices, a dog-walk­ing service. All of the ideas were amaz­ingly de­tailed for pre-teens, and we imag­ine that many of them will go on to be­come small busi­ness own­ers them­selves later in life. Ku­dos to all in­volved with this pro­gram for get­ting kids to see a big­ger pic­ture at a young age.

To the sud­den suc­cess of Poke­mon Go, the re­birth of the 1990s phe­nom­e­non. It surely hasn’t come with­out its pit­falls — users walk­ing into traf­fic, be­com­ing vic­tims of rob­beries via the games GPS func­tions or po­ten­tial se­cu­rity flaws built into its user terms — but at the heart of the game is po­ten­tially rev­o­lu­tion­ary idea. Per­haps most ex­cit­ing is that it forces video game play­ers to ex­er­cise. How many times have we com­plained that Billy or Susie are stuck sit­ting in front of a TV play­ing games? Now they’re forced to walk in or­der to com­plete ob­jec­tives. Fur­ther­more, the game is unit­ing peo­ple of all dif­fer­ent back­grounds and de­mo­graph­ics to play and many sto­ries have sur­faced on­line of play­ers meet­ing new peo­ple and gain­ing new friends. For­ward-think­ing busi­nesses have also used the games func­tions to wel­come in new cus­tomers while other public in­sti­tu­tions or mon­u­ments are gain­ing new­found in­ter­est. Maybe the play­ers will never think about them again out­side of the game, but we’re will­ing to bet that the vis­its in­spire some in­ter­est in some at the very least. For now, play re­spon­si­bly and ac­com­pany your chil­dren for some qual­ity time with the game.

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