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Student Entrepreneurs Present at 'Shark Tank' Event

Apr 19, 2019 10:53AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo via YEA!

It was a glimpse at the business leaders of the future: On Monday, student entrepreneurs from the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) gave the first public presentation of the plans for their new endeavors.

During the program’s annual YEA! Investor Panel Event, the students had five minutes to pitch their plans - "Shark Tank"-style - to prominent local members of the business community. All told, the 17 middle school and high school students represented 15 businesses and social movements.

The investors also selected one business, SupplySuccess, a non-profit that collects school supplies to deliver to underprivileged schools in the LAUSD area, to advance to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Saunders Scholars Competition. SupplySuccess CEOs Maddie Driscoll and Maya Fabrizio are both 9th graders at Mira Costa. They will be traveling to Rochester in two weeks for the competition, where they will compete with students across the United States for college scholarships.

The runner-up was Graham Galusha, CEO of Push Pups, a new and healthy peanut butter treat for dogs that comes in a dispenser.

Based on the appeal and merit of the students’ plans and presentations, the investor panel determined the amount of funds to allocate to each business or social movement. All students received funding to start their business.

This year's investor panel included Latrice McGlothin of Kinecta; Ken Deemer of MB Rotary; Austin Koehler, a YEA! 2016 graduate; Jake Kamen a retired aerospace leader; Danila Koverman of Fusion Academy; Tom Chieffe, a business investor; Nancy Hersman, mayor pro tem of Manhattan Beach, and Brad Sperber of Toyota.

YEA! is a program offered through the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce. Students meet once a week after school to learn all the facts of creating and starting their own legal business. More than 50 volunteers from the community give their time to help students launch entrepreneurial endeavors. Volunteers who provide assistance include graphic designers who help bring students' visions to life; CEOs who impart business wisdom and knowledge; and accountants, lawyers, speech coaches, and more who help them acquire the tools they need to succeed.

For more information, applications, or to volunteer, contact Nellie Ambrose at

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