RADNOR >> Sixteen middle and high school students from the Greater Philadelphia area pitched their business ideas before a panel of nine real-life investors to compete for funding at the fifth annual Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Philadelphia Investor Panel Event Wednesday, April 18, at Cabrini University.
The students presented before representatives from some of the area’s biggest companies, as well as an audience of more than 200 people, for the opportunity to gain funding for their original ideas that could be the next big thing.
This year’s entrepreneurs’ class includes 16 students in grade six through 12, including Ryan Klauder, a Phoenixville resident and a senior at Devon Prep, and his partner, Christopher Muth, a resident of West Chester and a junior at Devon Prep.
At the event, they presented 11 businesses that they have been developing and designing while attending the 2017-18 YEA! program. Every young entrepreneur had five minutes to pitch their business plans. Based on the appeal and merit of the students’ plans and presentations, the investor panel judges determined the amount of funds to allocate to each business. All of the businesses this year received some funding from the investors.
The participating investors selected Klauder and Muth’s business to advance to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Saunders Scholars National College Scholarship competition, where they will compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships, obtain a fast-track application pass to apply to be on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and win an all-expenses paid trip to attend America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C., courtesy of the United States Chamber of Commerce. The students’ businesses are as follows:
Klauder and Muth’s business idea is Rex Riccardi, which would create pocket squares raising awareness and money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Students are now beginning to market and sell their products and services and are preparing for the YEA! Trade Show to showcase their goods to the general public. The Trade Show will be held Saturday, May 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Haverford Area YMCA in Havertown. This event is free and open to the public.