During the past school year, Youth Opportunities Unlimited
(Y.O.U.) brought entrepreneurship education to five area high schools. Certified entrepreneur teachers helped more than 200 students come up with business ideas, create the businesses and execute the plans.
On May 23, 11 semi-finalists gathered at Ernst and Young
’s education center in Cleveland to present their final business pitches in hopes of winning the E City
(Entrepreneurship: Connecting, Inspiring and Teaching Youth) Northeast Ohio Young Entrepreneur of the Year title.
The semi-finalists gave eight-minute presentations, describing their businesses, marketing plans and business strategies. The audience voted to determine the three finalists and a three-judge panel selected the winners.
“They had fun, but it’s competitive,” says Carol Rivchun, president of Y.O.U. “They have to stand and make their PowerPoint presentations to the judges. The presentations included cash flows, Return on Investment, and budgets. And the judges really grilled them.”
Vanessa Galvan of T.W. Harvey High School in Painesville won the top honor of Young Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as $1,000 for her business, Piñata Time. Galvan's company makes kits that include everything needed to create a piñata. The judges felt Galvan has a strong business and marketing sense of what it would take to make Piñata Time a success.
Julianna Pierson of Shaw High School took home second place and $500 for Cat Sit, a cat sitting business that includes all toys and supplies.
Both Galvan and Pierson will travel to New York in October to compete for $10,000 in the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship
’s national business plan completion.
Maria Moreno, also of T.W. Harvey High School, took third place and won $250 for her customized floral accessories business, Bright Pickins.
Source: Carol Rivchun
Writer: Karin Connelly