« Back to News & Blog

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union Awards $2,500 to “Jeanne D’Arc Tank” Student Pitch Competition Winner HiveAID

Josh Porter, Financial Wellness Officer for Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union (left) and Mark S. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union (right) present a check to HiveAID cofounders (l to r) Samarth Chetan, Raghav Buddhineni, and Vedant Patil.

LOWELL, MA (May 24, 2024) -Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union kicked off Small Business Month by hosting the first annual Jeanne D’Arc Tank High School Pitch Competition on May 8, 2024. Students from Nashua High School North and South were invited to pitch their concepts for a small business to a panel of judges. Congratulations to student winners, HiveAID, for receiving the grand prize of $2,500 to help fund their business.

The event, held at The Nashua Center for the Arts, was the culmination of months of work the students put in to develop their small business plans. Jeanne D’Arc Tank brought together high school business students with a judging panel consisting of four local small business experts. The judges included Kara Doyle, Vice President, Commercial Lending, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union; Laurel Adams, President, Regional Economic Development Center; Wendy Hunt, President & CEO, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce; Tuesday Perkins, Lender Relations Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration, New Hampshire. Students also heard from keynote speaker Joshua Gao, Nashua High School South graduate and current Yale University student, who is also the Co-founder of the fit-tech startup Vault Kinetics.

Three finalists presented their small business plans: EmployMe, a phone application connecting teenagers to local employers to address teens’ unique employment challenges founded by Lakshana Raghav and Medha Bashyam; HiveAID, a company offering an all-in-one beekeeping kit with a parasite removing hive, founded by Raghav Buddhineni, Samarth Chetan, and Vedant Patil; and PantsMate, a dressing aid for anyone facing mobility challenges to allow for more independence, founded by Narayan Sajeev. The winning team was HiveAID, with co-founders Samarth, Raghav, and Vedant accepting the $2,500 prize.

In addition to the student presentations, attendees were able to meet with several local small business partners, as well as the Jeanne D’Arc Business Services Team, to gain more insight about entrepreneurship and the fundamentals of owning a small business. The Jeanne D’Arc Business Services Team is dedicated to developing and empowering local businesses, helping owners overcome challenges and explore the next steps in their business’ growth.

“Jeanne D’Arc Tank was created as a way to inspire entrepreneurship among students, said Mark S. Cochran President and Chief Executive Officer at Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. “Because of the support from the business teachers, our volunteer judges, and those who supported the event through sponsorship, we were able to develop a program that inspired and supported our future business leaders.”

About Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union:

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union was established in 1912 and is a full-service, community-based financial cooperative. Locally owned by 101,000 members with $2.1 billion in assets, Jeanne D’Arc operates eight full-service branches in Lowell, Dracut (2), Tyngsboro, Chelmsford, Methuen, and Westford, Massachusetts, and Nashua, New Hampshire; high-school branches at Lowell High, Dracut High, and Nashua High School South; a loan center in Lowell; and a mortgage center in Chelmsford. Follow Jeanne D’Arc on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.