October 13, 2020
On Saturday, October 17th, teens from around the country will compete to see who will be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneur at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) 12th Annual Saunders Scholars National Competition. The Shark Tank style pitch competition will award over $80,000 in cash prizes and college scholarships to the Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology to the students with the best businesses in the U.S. Local viewers will be able to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award.
This year 36 semifinalists will compete virtually, representing 35 middle and high schools from 20 states across the country for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and a People’s Choice Award. For the first time ever, the Competition will be live broadcast from Rochester, NY ABC-TV WHAM Channel 13 and will be streamed live over the web and able to be seen worldwide on YEA!’s YouTube channel and on Facebook live.
Students enrolled in the Manhattan Beach Chamber YEA! Program, first competed locally in front of a virtual investor panel in May 2020. The top business from each YEA! Chapter, across the country will now compete head to head in semi-final and final rounds at the Saunders Scholars National Competition to take place throughout the day on Saturday, October 17th. from 12 noon Eastern Time until 8pm Eastern Time, with the national winner announcements at 7:55pm Eastern Time.
The local semi-finalist, ninth grader Taylor Ryan of Mira Costa High school has been selected by judges from the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce and local business community to advance to the National Competition for her start-up business Unstoppable Protective Gear. Taylor‘s group will compete on Saturday, October 17th between 10:30 am – 12:00 pm (PST).
Ms Ryan is a Freshman at Mira Costa High School. She is an avid lacrosse player and volunteers her time for the MB Rotary Interact Club, National Charity League, and Student Council.
Ryan participated in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy seven-month youth entrepreneurship program at Mira Costa High School, presented by and in partnership with the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce. With the help of local entrepreneurs and business leaders, the student designed, pitched, and launched Unstoppable Protective Gear, which makes protective sports breast cups for women so that you can play on the field without the fear of getting injured. “Without YEA! I would not be where I am today in my business,” shared Ryan.
The local student will be pitching via YouTube live on Panel 2, scheduled to run from 10:30am to 12pm PST, local time. Viewers must register in advance at yeausa.org to participate in the text-to-vote People’s Choice Award.
This year’s National Saunders Scholars National Competition is sponsored in part by the E. Philp Saunders Foundation, Southwest Airlines, and the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
“We could not be more proud of the work these young people are doing and of our partners who are leading the charge across the Country delivering YEA!’s entrepreneurship education,” said YEA! founder and CEO, Gayle Jagel. Our local Chambers of Commerce, incubators, accelerators, universities, colleges and K12 partners who come together through YEA! are igniting the sparks of innovation in the entire community. Just imagine what our world would look like if every student got the chance to bring their ideas to life.”
More about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(c) 3 offering groundbreaking series of classes and workshops that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the program, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures.