10 Bright Young Entrepreneurs in USA Competed at America’s Small Business Summit 2016. Ten of USA’s brightest young entrepreneurs was in Washington in June 2016 to compete for scholarships and prizes at America’s Small Business Summit. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) held the finals of its Saunders Scholars competition at the event with participants pitching their businesses to a panel of judges. Each of the YEA! participants is a student who qualified for the national finals after rounds of local and regional competitions. YEA! is an after-school program that teaches students in grades 6-12 lessons in starting their own businesses. The YEA! finalists have all gone through the steps of starting and developing real-life companies. This year’s finalists include makers of custom clothing, unique grips for lacrosse sticks, and customizable phone cases. There’s also a literacy-oriented non-profit and a platform to connect music teachers with students.

Young Entrepreneurs at America’s Small Business Summit 2016

the-young-entrepreneurs-academy-yea10 Bright Young Entrepreneurs in USA. There are seven companies represented by 10 students in this year’s finals. Here they are: 1. Cyanne McLean, CEO of Africa Smiles, a non-profit that works to improve literacy for children in Africa. 2. Maxx Stewart, CEO of Spyder Grypz, a maker of unique grips for lacrosse sticks. 3. Ashley Hurton, CEO of HappiWear, a company that produces athletic clothing while promoting good mental and physical health. 4. Laney Hughes, CEO of Shallocat, which produces unique clothing items. 5. Emily Guertler, CEO of StraightShot Apparel, which makes pants designed for children with diabetes. 6. Ethan Shapiro and Ryan Shnider, the CEOs of Snap’d In, the maker of customizable phone cases. 7. Arya Desai, Meenu Pamula, and Mizna Akbar, the owners of Muzikguru, a platform that connects parents and children with music teachers.

Lacrosse Enthusiast Scores As Top Young Entrepreneur 2016

maxx-stewart-lacrosse-enthusiast-scores-as-top-young-entrepreneur-2016Maxx Stewart impressed the YEA! judges with his business plan for Spyder Grypz at America’s Small Business Summit. The only 14-year-old Tacoma, Wash. native proved that hard work and dedication does pay off, earning various prizes including $30,000 in college scholarships after presenting his business plan for a company that makes durable grips for lacrosse sticks. Maxx Stewart, the CEO of Spyder Grypz, beat out the nine other finalists from six companies to win the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Saunders Scholars competition, winning over a panel of judges at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce America’s Small Business Summit 2016. Stewart, who is a lacrosse player himself, said he grew tired of constantly having to replace traditional tape on his stick, so he created his own solution — a durable, rubber-based grip meant to last an entire season without being replaced.

YEA! also presented second- and third-place prizes to other Saunders Scholars Finalists. Second place was awarded to Ethan Shapiro and Ryan Shnider, business partners of Snap’d In, which brings a fully customizable and changeable phone case to the technology marketplace. Third place, and the People’s Choice Award, went to Emily Guertler, the creator of Straight Shot Apparel, a clothing line that eases the issues that insulin shots bring to families with diabetic children.

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