Young Entrepreneurs Academy Students Secure Local Investments

February 24, 2016 Written by Knoxville Chamber

Students in the Knoxville Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) participated in an investor panel on Feb. 21, in which they pitched their business concepts to a panel of five local investors. The event was presented by Pilot Flying J and supported by Arconic Foundation and Clayton Bank.
The investor panel was made up of Christy Newman, community relations manager with Arconic Foundation; Janice Branch, coordinator of diversity initiatives for the Haslam College of Business; Brent Ball, chief loan officer at Clayton Bank; Josh Smith, owner of Master Service Companies; and Jonathan Sexton, entrepreneur in residence at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.
The 18 YEA! students created 15 unique businesses that they have been developing from the ground up since October 2016. Each business had three minutes to pitch their ideas to the panel, who later deliberated and allocated the combined pool of $6,500 to the businesses of their choice. The students will now be able to use these real business investments for various start-up costs.
The allocated funds for each business were:
·       Bewachen, $500.00
·       Corporate Keystone. $235.00
·       Hands & Paws, $100.00
·       Heart to Heart, $450.00
·       Iconsole, $750.00
·       InHouse Greenhouse, $500.00
·       Living HisStory, $390.00
·       My Cut Counts, $535.00
·       Onwards Electronics, $100.00
·       Puppy Hut, $500.00
·       RefugeeLikeMe, $700.00
·       Sleep Gear, $140.00
·       Stay Rosy, $500.00
·       Team Huddle, $1000.00
·       Zer0 Power, $100.00
“The investor panel was an exciting culmination to months of research, development, mentorship, and growth for the students. They have been working diligently since October to identify and refine their business ideas into the perfect pitch,” said Haseeb Qureshi, YEA! instructor. “The students did an incredible job of showcasing their unique skills and passions for entrepreneurship, and are now seeing the rewards of startup investments for their businesses and social movements.”
John D. Cobb from Clayton Bradley Academy and Alexander YarKhan from L&N STEM Academy, with their nonprofit organization RefugeeLikeMe, were also selected by the panel to move on to the Saunders Scholars Competition this May in Rochester, N.Y.