Young Entrepreneurs

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By, Lauren Kolacki

From the first day of school until the day our children turn 18, our main goal is getting them through the awkward stages of puberty and the challenges that accompany high school. We expect good grades and even better decisions regarding peer pressure and their future. That is not necessarily the case for Joe and Lora Hudicka, whose children Joey (16) and Heidi (11) are the creativity and innovation behind, “Launch”, a board game which introduces young people to the art of entrepreneurship.
Joey and Heidi have had a different childhood than most kids their age. By the time Joey was eight, he created an iPhone app. Their father, Joe, says him and his wife, Lora, were (and still are) very supportive and encouraging of their children’s creative ambitiousness. Joe claims he was even a little compet- itive with his children, despite Lora’s reluctance. The way they encourage and challenge their children is the reason behind their ‘sky is the limit’ attitude.
Joe tells a story of his son being just five years old and a big hockey fan. He would come home from practice and sit on the carpet and mimic the game with playing cards. One day, Joe sat down and when he asked him to teach him, he found that Joey had an entire set of rules to this game. That night, Joe stayed up all night creating a board, and in the morning, before he took Joey to Kindergarten, he challenged his son to a game. Joey beat his father two games in a row. He didn’t just have rules to this game, he had strategies that went beyond what he had taught his dad. That is when Joe first realized his son had a special spark within him.
One day in January of 2015, the Hudicka’s went to pick up their kids from school when the children got in the car and spoke about their classmates not sharing the same enthusiastic curiosity for entrepreneurship as they did. They thought there had to be a fun way to get their peers to understand and get as excited about business.
After that day, the family came together and thought up the idea of ‘Launch’. The game has five levels and kids are taught dozens of business terms and strategies as they progress through each level. There is an accompanying Young Entrepreneur’s Dictionary to help them play and understand the game while learning the language of business. ‘Launch’ earned Joey and Heidi the 2016 Amazing Kids in Business Award from the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce.
This is an untold story because they are not media experts, however, that does not stop the children from being ambitious. When asked what Joey and Heidi’s goals for the future were, Joe responded that they are both extremely focused. They want to reach as many young people as possible and continue working with NASA to make a social impact on humanity. If children all over, could connect their creativity to their potential, they will begin to see all the resources surrounding them. People, of all ages, need to jump into this event series and find the spark within them.