BY: JESSICA GUTMAN

Students in the Knoxville Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) have finalized their business plans and pitched their ideas to a panel of investors for start-up funding.

Since early October, these middle and high school students from across Knox County have worked to build their own businesses from the ground up. Beginning with idea generation and market research, the students moved into prototyping and business plan development and are now finalizing brand identity and presentations.

During the weekly classes, students have learned about opportunities and skill sets needed to be an entrepreneur from their instructor, Haseeb Qureshi, guest speakers and field trips. The class had the chance to visit Local Motors’ state of the art micro-factory and learn about advertising while visiting local digital marketing firm, Pyxl.

The YEA! students will graduate from the program on Tuesday, April 17.

STUDENT BUSINESSES: 

Hannah Rodriguez, Clayton Bradley Academy

Hannah Ashton Content – provides a personal online mentoring course that trains You-Tubers, influencers or anyone wanting to grow their social media channels. She offers a personal connection with the flair and knowledge of running Hannah Ashton YouTube channel for over five years.
Mentor – Cody Quillen, Knoxville Graphic House

Daniel Scrugham, Homeschool

InvestRight Media – teaches young people how to invest their money and help them beat the stock market through a fun and enjoyable weekly podcast, which is only fifteen minutes per week.
Mentor – Ariana Shannon, Your Growth Expert

Hunter Bumgarner, Maryville High School

TN Martial Art Events – hosts martial arts parties for children where they are taught a fun and energetic martial arts class, celebrate with their friends and even cut their birthday cake with a sword!
Mentor – Josh Goldman, Power Systems

Luis Gomes, Bearden High School

ScribeTogether – aims to bring communities together by connecting writers, educators and students all in one place. ScribeTogether is a new tool for the community to freely write with other people and have fun with it, while also taking a step closer to their personal writing goals.
Mentor – JD Samples, Slamdot

John Martinez Mateo, West High School

Clover Clothing Co. – a brand built on diversity. The designs are created around the Three Leaf Clover, whose three leaves are used to represent the affordability, quality and look of the products.
Mentor – Haseeb Qureshi, Morehous Legal Group

Cole Lusk, Halls Middle School

Lusk Lawn Care – pays special attention to the details of every project to ensure the complete satisfaction of each client. He works to ensure each lawn will be prop-erly mowed, edged and all trimmings and debris will be removed from the prop-erty.
Mentor – Ian Dovan, Seeds of Change

Grace Theriot, Bearden Middle School

Teaching with Classic Movies – an online worksheet database made by students for teachers. They are dedicated to bringing you high-quality, useful work-sheets that take well-known movies and put an analytical spin on them, enabling them to be used as subject and skill reinforcement.
Mentor – Calvin Skinner, Lincoln Memorial University

DeMaré Bean, Bearden High School

The Great American Scourge – a political commentary book written from the perspective of a high school student. The book will evaluate the two-party system and how it has affected political decisions in America.
Mentor – Doug Minter, Knoxville Chamber

Davis Jones, West Valley Middle School

Elastasock – a product that helps people with limited mobility and dexterity put on and remove their socks.
Mentor – Jim Brown, M&M Productions

YEA!Sponsors