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Discovery Students Hatch a Plan for Our City
Discovery Students Hatch a Plan for Our City
Posted on 11/07/2017
By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Department

The Asheville area has long been a place where creativity and entrepreneurship thrive. Now, students at the Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy (NDA) are proving that they have what it takes to compete, both now and after graduation.

An Asheville-based organization called Hatch brings together local professionals and talent to give startups a kick-start. One of their intensive events is called Hatch This, and it provides an avenue for fast moving minds to create a business in a weekend. Encouraged by science teacher John Mizell, ten NDA students decided to put their skills to the test and spent the weekend developing ideas and an innovative mobile app.

“The competition requires individuals to use all their skills and knowledge to tackle a real problem in a new way and turn their new solution into a viable business model,” Mizell said.

Think of Hatch This as a mash-up between a 48-hour film festival, speed dating, and the TV-show, Shark Tank. On a Friday night, a few dozen thinkers each had one minute to pitch their idea. Then, they formed groups based on the nine best ideas and the fun began. After two more twelve-hour days of work, the groups came together Sunday evening to have their projects judged by a hand-selected panel of business professionals.

Our City Team: Second Place The result? A group of NDA students came in second place. Furthermore, another student -- Alex Sanderson -- was on the winning team that won a $20,000 business start-up package!

Austin Gleydura, a twelfth grader at NDA, said building an app in 32 hours “made me interested in starting my own business and has given me the skills to help me start.”

Austin’s team created an exploration themed mobile app called “Our City” well-suited for use in Asheville. Without spoiling their concept, it combines several items popular among mobile users today: maps, social media, tourism, and business.

Hatch This is an incredible opportunity to become a true entrepreneur in today’s tech savvy world,” said teammate Travis Walter, twelfth grade. “It has sparked my love for exploring the business world and the workings behind the whole process. [It was] amazing for not only our group, but for everyone that participated.”

“The competition is extremely challenging, but fun at the same time,” said teacher Mizell. “It's amazing how Hatch This has changed some of our students and given them purpose and direction in life.”

The members of the Our City team are only a step away from their graduation day, and plan to further develop their product to ready it for the ultimate test: the marketplace.

Here are the NDA students who participated in the competition and their team names:

E Sports Coaching (1st Place)
Alex Sanderson

Our City (2nd Place)
Michael Byrd
Austin Gleydura
Jaydin Andrews
Jeshua Pott
James Kitson
Travis Walter
Maia Judd

Zachary Moss

Protective Jewelry
Perry Berlin

Watch the Facebook Live announcement of the Hatch This winners.
Learn more about Hatch This.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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