Entrepreneurs ages 11 to 18 strut stuff today

Trade show for budding moguls at Canyon View Park this morning

Young entrepreneurs, ages 11 to 18, reveal their new start-up ventures to the public for the first time today at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Trade Show starting at 9 a.m.

The show lasts until 12:30 p.m. at Canyon View Park, which is located near the intersection of G and 28 roads, said Betsy Bair, an official with the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce who coordinated the academy.

Local middle and high school students from the class of 2014 will debut their newly launched businesses or social movements to consumers, potential clients or investors, Bair said.

The trade show is free and open to the public, she said.

“It’s going to give people the opportunity to support our students by purchasing their products and signing up for services offered by their businesses,” Bair said.

“The trade show is a culmination of the program’s overall goal — for students to become CEOs of their own company.”

Top money-winner of the academy was Abagale Stone, 13, of East Middle School. She will be on hand to take orders for her mini-cupcake packaging design, which could change the way the baked goods are sold.

As much as the packaging, the contents caught the judges’ eye. Coffee-pecan, white chocolate-lemon-raspberry, and carrot cake cupcakes all sounded like winners. The flavors were tested at a local restaurant and won positive feedback, Stone said.

She received $1,100 of the $1,678 she requested from angel investors who met with the YEA graduates in February.

Money invested in Spot Bakery was used for ingredients, kitchen rent, marketing and insurance, she said.

One student at the head of the class was 11-year-old Liliana Flanigan. Youngest of all the YEA graduates, Flanigan founded Lili of the Field, a tea company. She took home the second-largest amount of money from investors.

“Our specialty is special teas,” Flanigan said, reciting her company’s slogan.

A sixth-grader at Caprock Academy, Flanigan skipped a grade to learn math and literacy skills from teachers and students closer to her knowledge level.

She will also be at Canyon View Park today to take orders for her special tea blends, Bair said.


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