The Young Entrepreneurs Academy and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce will hold the YEA Rochester Chamber Member CEOs Roundtable and Pitch Contest from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Strong National Museum of Play, 1 Manhattan Square Drive, Rochester.
The free event is an opportunity for student and adult CEOs as they make 90-second business pitches, offer insight and share their success stories to anyone interested in launching their own business or social movement.
The audience will have the opportunity to meet the panelists, ask questions and vote to select the winner of the pitch contest.
“The panelists are an exciting mix of kid and adult CEOs,” said Gayle Jagel, founder and CEO of YEA. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce to present this family-friendly networking and leadership event to the community. This unique event brings together business professionals, educators, parents and children in a fun, engaging way to learn the ins and outs of networking and entrepreneurship.”
Adult panelists include Sitima Fowler, Capstone; Randy Henderson, Henderson Family Ford; Leo Linder, Emerge; Lindsay McCutchen, Career Start; and Christine Vargas, Vargas Associates Inc. Student panelists include Spencer Koehl, Vagabond Beard Oil; Asad Muhammed, A Taste of Supreme; Aarya Patel, 4Ever Dry Socks; and Jonathan Peters, ROC Your Meals.
Students from the 2016-17 Rochester YEA classes will listen and ask questions as they prepare to pitch and launch their own, real businesses. YEA inspires business and community leaders to promote a culture of innovation among youth and help foster the entrepreneurial mindset.
“We believe in providing the means to encourage these young students to embrace their creativity and passions,” said Linder, whose company, Emerge, took the No. 10 spot on the 2016 Rochester Chamber Top 100. “We hope that empowering them at such a young age will inspire them to do even greater things in the future.”
The joint YEA and Rochester Chamber event will be featured as one of Rochester Chamber’s biz.Exchange programs, a professional development series and quarterly interactive workshop series.
“Rochester’s business community is one of the strongest across this country for its size,” said Bob Duffy, GRCC president. “We have phenomenal leadership in many different areas. The greatest legacy that these leaders can leave behind is to help the next generation of CEOs emerge. The best way to do that is to spend time and share their insights with our young, bright business leaders of the future.”
Middle and high school students are taught to write business plans, prepare and pitch their ideas to investors, obtain financial backing, register their businesses and social organizations, develop marketing plans and materials, prepare for trade shows and sell their products and services through YEA.
For information, visit yeausa.org and greaterrochesterchamber.com.