Young entrepreneurs receive $3,500 from investor panel
A group of 13 young entrepreneurs received a total of $3,500 at an Investor Panel event held on Monday, April 9, at Northcentral Technical College’s Health Science Auditorium. These investments will help the students launch the businesses they have developed during this school year in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program.
All 13 business owners secured at least $125 to help start their businesses, with $750 going to Jackson Boersma, the owner of Wooden Spoon Toffee. Boersma finished in first place at the event. Annika Dellich, owner of Fizzles Bath Bombs, received $500 and finished as the first alternate.
“I have an entrepreneurial spirit and when this opportunity came up I wanted to get into it,” said Boersma. “It’s definitely been a good experience seeing how this works and really getting to start a business.”
Boersma will move on to compete against other young entrepreneurs from around the country in a national semi-final competition held next month in Rochester, NY. Boersma will compete against others from across the nation for hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships, a fast-track application pass to apply to be on ABC’s Shark Tank and an all-expenses paid trip to attend America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, DC courtesy of the United States Chamber of Commerce.
During this Investor Panel event, the YEA! students pitched their plans for real, viable businesses to a panel of financial donors. The plans have been developed over the course of the last six months and the students intend to launch their businesses in the Wausau region later this year. Representatives from local companies determined the amount of funds to allocate to each business based upon the appeal and viability of the students’ plans and presentations.
“To be a part of this entire journey for each of these young entrepreneurs is very rewarding for me and, more importantly, what they learn from this class will help them for many years to come, no matter what they choose to do as a career.” said Jim Dahlgren, class instructor.
YEA! is sponsored annually at the platinum level by CGI and Cellcom and at the bronze level by AbbyBank and REI. Sun Printing Inc is the print and marketing sponsor.
The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce partnered with the DC Everest Area School District in 2015 to offer the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) to students in the region. Presentations from previous Investor Panel events are available on the Chamber’s YouTube channel. 13 participants have been working to develop a dozen new businesses – real businesses they plan to run to help them achieve goals like funding college and becoming life-long entrepreneurs.
If you would like to learn more about how to support the next generation of entrepreneurs, contact program manager Lukas Lindner at [email protected] or 715-848-6428 or Dahlgren at [email protected] or 715-359-0511 ext. 3221.