Students' business ideas receive start-up funding


April 15, 2015



Contact: Magen James

Membership Programs & Events Director

Phone: (907) 677-7111



The attached news release is shared on behalf of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and its Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Congratulations to the student business owners!



On Thursday, April 9th student entrepreneurs took to the stage to present their business plans before a panel of local leaders of industry and a public audience. The students were dressed as young professionals, and really wowed the crowd! 


Five students in grades 6 through 12 representing five businesses and social movements from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce had six minutes to pitch their business plans to prominent local members of the business community, during the program’s annual YEA! Investor Panel Event (think Shark Tank meets The Apprentice meets American Idol!). Based on the appeal and merit of the students’ plans and presentations, representatives from companies like Alaska Airlines, KTUU Channel 2, Cabin Fever, Petroleum Equipment & Services, Chugach Alaska Corporation and Visit Anchorage determined the amount of funds to allocate to each business or social movement.


The student businesses were awarded the following angel investments:


  • Alaska Paracord Designs, owned by Grayson Davey: $1,650
  • Ben’s Bug Out Bags, owned by Ben Culbertson: $450
  • Macedonia Education Movement, owned by Lutfi Lena: $1,200
  • Only The Details, owned by Raymond Maggard: $1,000
  • Riju, owned by Alexi Erickson: $700


The participating investors also selected one business, Alaska Paracord Designs, for an additional prize. Grayson Davey will advance to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Saunders Scholars National College Scholarship competition, where they will compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships, a fast-track application pass to apply to be on ABC’s Shark Tank, and an all-expenses paid trip to attend America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, DC courtesy of the United States Chamber of Commerce.


In addition, Sam’s Club graciously donated a $500 shopping spree to one business. Raymond Maggard, owner of Only The Details, was awarded the shopping spree for his mobile detailing business.


The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting year long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in communities across America. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.272.3535 or visit


U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.


The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Partnership

In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Campaign for Free Enterprise became a national sponsor and partner of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to help promote the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.  Through coordination with its network of local chambers of commerce, the U.S. Chamber has helped communities across the country adopt the YEA! program. Together, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are celebrating the power and promise of young people in business and encouraging the next greatest generation to make a job, not just take a job. 



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