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Young Entrepreneurs Ready to Soar

Apr 26, 2018 01:04PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A new crop of freshly minted young entrepreneurs has graduated from the local Young Entrepreneurs Academy, armed with business plans, information, and inspiration.

Wednesday night's graduation ceremony followed last week's "Shark Tank" style presentation/competition event. The 15 student CEOs representing 11 businesses pitched their business ideas - ranging from detachable visors for helmets to custom multi-use furniture - to a group of six investors in the hopes of securing funding.

The overall winner was Paloma Burgos and her business, Lavande de la Paloma. Burgos cultivates lavender from her own backyard and creates lavender soaps and sachets with customizable boxes. As the winning student CEO, her business was fully funded and she was chosen to compete nationally against other young entrepreneurs in Rochester, New York this May.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy takes students aged 11 to 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year.  Throughout the year, students work in close cooperation with local business leaders, community leaders and educators who use their personal experiences to demonstrate how to develop business ideas and objectives, write a business plan, pitch to investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, establish e-commerce and a web presence, and more.

More than 40 volunteers including CEOs, attorneys, health and wellness experts, insurance agents, graphic designers, and even a real Shark Tank contestant gave their time throughout the school year to educate and assist the students in their endeavors.

At last week's investors' panel, representatives from companies including Manhattan Beach Toyota, Millennials Digital, and Carla Ramirez Insurance Agency, Inc. determined the amount of funds to allocate to each business or social movement. The investors also were tasked with selecting one business to compete among the “best-of-the-best” from around the country in hopes of being voted one of America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneur National Saunders Scholars Finalists.

Speaking at Wednesday night's graduation ceremony was local business leader Tamala Lewis, who serves as StubHub Center's Senior Director of Community Affairs and the Foundation. "There is so much out there to learn," she told students. "Listen and learn to everyone and everything around you."

The students' businesses included custom designed T-shirts, avocado oil flavored popcorn, a music production company, a detachable visor for helmet, stress relief subscription boxes, custom designed multi-use furniture, a kids party-in-a-bag, a cell phone accessory, and dog waste cans that dispense coupons.

Graduates were:
Paloma Burgos - Lavande de la Paloma
Kainoa Crow - Party in a Bag
Ella Dvorchak - Popacado
Tommy Foskey - In Sain
Steele Gable - West Coast Breakers
Hatcher Johnson - The Poopon Program
Dylan Kircher - Popacado
Devon McKnight - Night XXXVII
Ryan Severin - The Poopon Program
Kelly Shea - Mindful Matters
Brady Sheldon - Popacado
Taylor Southey - Magnetico Crowns
Cole Sterba - Party in a Bag
Emre Taner - Helm-a-Cap
Thomas Temperley - MultiUse Furniture

YEA! is sponsored by Kinecta, Max Industries, The City of Manhattan Beach and Manhattan
Beach; and is supported by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce. For more information, or to enroll in the class of 2018-2019, email


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