Launching Young Entrepreneurs

Launching Young Entrepreneurs

2017 YEA! students and investor panelists.

2017 YEA! students and investor panelists.

During the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) Investor Panel on March 30, 11 local middle and high school students, representing 10 businesses, pitched their business plans to investors, who determined the amount of startup capital granted to each student to launch his or her business.

Based on the appeal and merit of the students' plans and presentations, panelists awarded each business the following funds:

  • Ethan Mauger, a 7th grader at Williamsburg Middle School, received his full ask of $465 for his business, Private Perfection, a trumpet tutoring business for fourth and fifth grade students.

  • Williamsburg Middle School 8th grade student Selam Ghide received her full ask of $400 for her business, Inquiry, a website that helps students find answers to school-related problems. This includes assisting students with catching up on lessons and classwork after a school absence.

  • Sofia Brodsky, an 8th grader at Swanson Middle School, received her full ask of $988 to launch her business, Pink Pineapple, which creates luxury bath products to help women feel comfortable and confident in their bodies. As part of its business model, Pink Pineapple donates a portion of its profit to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

  • Langley High School sophomores Ann Chen and Gaoyang Ganjin received $250 for their business, BINDY, which wholesells a more handy, convenient type of binder.

  • Williamsburg Middle School 7th grade student Bethel Ghide received her full ask of $500 to start her business, Dessert in a Jar, which sells delicious and convenient desserts that are simple to make, without all the effort in the kitchen.

  • Bodhi Patel, a junior at Langley High School, received $500 for his business, Bodhi's Light, LLC, designed to help children and adults find inner peace, self-love, and growth, despite outside stresses.

  • Anneka Noe, a junior at Langley High School, received $500 for her business Tutor Time. This business connects Washington, D.C. metro area high school students, who are seeking community service opportunities, to elementary school students needing tutoring in mathematics

  • K-12 Academy freshman Tyler Muse received $250 for his business Replay My Gear, which collects used sports equipment to donate to young athletes who are unable to afford it. In addition to $250 in capital contributions, Tyler received a Business Startup Package, courtesy of Arlington Law Group.

  • Sixth grader Charlotte Cunningham received her full ask of $483 to start her business, Youth Neighborhood Care (YNC), which neighborhood residents can use to hire youth to assist with everyday chores and tasks.

  • Tasnim Alam, a senior at Wakefield High School, received her full ask of $800 for her business, Heatless Hotness, which sells heat-free hair curlers that are convenient to use and create salon-like results.

After deliberation by the investors, Tasnim Alam, the founder and CEO of Heatless Hotness, was selected to advance to the Regional Semi-Finals of the YEA! Saunders Scholars National College Scholarship competition in Rochester, N.Y. in May. Here, she will compete for college scholarships, cash prize packages, and the opportunity to attend America's Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. courtesy of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

The panel of investors featured the following local business leaders: Kelly Shooshan, representing the Ballston BID; Doug Taylor of Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C.; David Isaacson of Beach Geeks, Inc.; Paul Longsworth of Fluor; Pinkie Dent Mayfield of Graham Holdings Company; Todd Ihrig of H.D. Vest Investment Services; and Kevin Shooshan of The Shooshan Company.

Students will now begin marketing and selling their products and services, while preparing for the YEA! Trade Show to showcase their goods to the general public. The Trade Show is planned for May 18 at the Ballston BID Farmers Market from 4-7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.