Montana student heads to Michigan to compete in youth entrepreneur challenge

Posted at 12:06 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 13:33:57-04

GREAT FALLS – Chinook High School senior Cord Schneider will soon compete against 10 other students at the Youth Entrepreneurs Start-Up Challenge in Michigan.

“I am pitching a business that makes custom bumpers. I design and create my own bumpers,” Schneider said. He builds the bumpers in his family’s garage. 

Schneider said the idea came to him a few years ago when he and his dad started building bumpers.

The bumpers have the same shape as ones from vehicles, but Schneider adds special touches.

“The pipe is different than normal, and you can add your own features like cut-outs in the bumper,” he said.

At the beginning of the school year, Schneider had to work on a business plan for his custom-made bumper company. Now he is headed to Michigan.

“It was pretty exciting at the beginning,” he said.

The trip was made possible by the Youth Entrepreneurs program, which is in its first year at several schools throughout Montana.

The program provides business education that entrepreneurship students can apply to real-life situations.

For the challenge, Schneider had to record himself pitching his business.

“There was a lot of retakes,” he said. He added the pitch not only had to get the point across but also had to show a market for the product.

“Now everything is more professional, and my pitch is professional. My summary and everything looks a lot sharper,” he said.

He also had to put together a summary and slideshow to use when pitching his business to the judges.

Schneider is the only student from Montana competing Friday,” I am just ready for the pitch,” Schneider said.

You can watch Schneider make his pitch for The Big Idea on Friday here.

-Margaret DeMarco reporting for MTN News