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  • 2020 YEA! Investor Panel Highlights

  • 2020 YEA! Investor Panel Highlights

    2020 YEA! Investor Panel Highlights

    The 2019-20 YEA! students have now wrapped up their year, taking part in our first virtual Investor Panel last week. Streamed live on Facebook, each student got five minutes to pitch their businesses to a panel of local investors and compete for funding. Thank you to the event’s emcee, Dan Michaels. We are so proud of this class all the work they put in to the program.

    The students are their businesses are:

    • Cayden Anderson and Michael Toy, juniors, Sheyenne High School, love to give back to the community and wanted to find a way to make volunteer opportunities easier to access. They created Chipp In, LLC, a service that provides information about upcoming volunteer opportunities, along with motivation to users via a competition with awards.
    • Ty Boutwell, 8th grade, Ben Franklin Middle School, loves playing with his dog, but was sick of the slobber on toys. He created Paws Inc., and the Fun Fetcher, a new take on the classic frisbee (with a replaceable handle!), so you can play with your pup without the slobber.  
    • Jadyn Chakua, 8th grade, Ben Franklin Middle School, was looking to tame her hair and help women with textured hair feel confident. To do that, she created Dhada and made a curly hair leave-in conditioner featuring natural ingredients in environmentally friendly jars.
    • Madison Christensen, junior, West Fargo High School, wanted to create clothing that made her feel confident, and helped others feel confident as well, without worrying about size or fit. De Moda designs high-quality, custom-measured clothing specifically geared toward adolescents.
    • Ameera Gaal, freshman, Sheyenne High School, loves expressing herself through what she wears. Enhance makes magnetic accessories for hijabs so that women who wear them can feel beautiful with her custom-made product.
    • Evelyn Gould, 8th grade, Ben Franklin Middle School, knows that giving cards is meaningful, but wanted to make the timely tradition even more special with her business. Evie’s Cards makes hand-painted custom greeting and special occasion cards delivered by mail.
    • Seth Hansen, senior, Davies High School, knows that great footage comes from your family vacations, and he can help make those memories last. Hansen Video Production is his video editing and creation service to produce personalized video keepsakes for years to come.
    • Tate Jacobson, 7th grade, Discovery Middle School, has a passion for running, and loves to be fast. Jolt Athletic Apparel offers high-quality, breathable clothing for everyone, that he hopes to sell locally.
    • Gavin Keller, 7th grade, Cheney Middle School, needed a safe and fast way to haul equipment. He created Keller Sports to manufacture and sell heavy-duty, multi-use utility wagons that attach to bikes.
    • Allison Koetz, senior, Central Cass High School, is a believer in holistic healing and essential oils, but doesn’t love the price barrier. Her business, Healing Dimes, provides education and affordable essential oils.
    • Spring Ma, sophomore, Fargo North High School, was fed up with the amount of plastic wasted at her school daily. Her company, Plastic Sprout uses recycled utensils from her school’s lunchroom to create beautiful flower planters called “sprout cups.”
    • Isabelle Sunderlin, sophomore, Davies High School, wants her peers to have great photos, without needing a reason. She created 505 Photography that offers more affordable photoshoots to capture fun, everyday moments for teens.

    Watch the full video from the Investor Panel here to catch each student's presentation.



    Congrats to this year’s Investor Panel winners!
    Ameera received $600 in funding and was named our local YEA! Saunders Scholar. She was chosen to move on and will be among more than 100 students nationally selected to compete in the Saunders Scholars Competition in August in Rochester, New York. There, young entrepreneurs will compete for the opportunity to advance to the finals where they can win up to $30,000 in college scholarships and business startup prizes. 

    Isabelle was the recipient of the third-annual People’s Choice award, determined through a live poll in which event attendees voted for their favorite presentation and business idea.



    Thank you to our panel of investors!
    • Anne Blackhurst, Minnesota State University Moorhead
    • Jim Hambrick, Cornerstone Bank
    • Dan Leeaphon, Microsoft
    • Chris Mason, Concordia College
    • Scott Meyer, North Dakota State University
    • Sherri Smith, Gate City Bank

    What’s next?
    Now, the students get to decide if they will utilize the funding they received to launch their businesses. All of the students in our YEA! class are motivated to achieve business success, and we know they will achieve great things as they move forward.

    The national YEA! Saunders Scholars Competition is set for August in Rochester, New York. We will keep you updated on event updates and how you can watch Ameera compete with students across the country.

    The presenting sponsor of the program is Cornerstone Bank. 

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