Recently I had the privilege of judging a talented group of young entrepreneurs as part of the YEA Investors panel. The YEA investors Panel is a group of Business Leaders that had the opportunity to listen, judge and “invest” in young entrepreneurs and their businesses. These individuals take a full academic course designed to teach them how to take a business from idea to operation, ultimately presenting these businesses to a group of ‘investors’. Let me tell you… I was blown away with the creativity, passion and professionalism in each of these young individuals…
Two of the business concepts that caught my eye were MOTTO, as it was a business designed to get youth involved in volunteering, and also Stellar Students which had a focus on tutoring not only children but parents as well. For me it was all about the idea and passion. You cannot have one without the other, so I was looking at both to see if the idea could make it and if the entrepreneur had enough passion to make it a success.
Yasmine Mohamed’s business concept, Balloonies-which makes creative, unique and fun balloon gifts was awarded a $1000.00 investment from the panel and a full presidential scholarship to MVCC. Her business idea also finished in the top two in the Rochester regional competition and she’ll now be moving on to present to the national competition in Washington DC.
These young individuals are the future of the Mohawk Valley, and they need to be able to take their idea and make it a reality… That is what drives economic growth in our area, great ideas and passion for those ideas… As young individuals they are getting head start on that process through the YEA program.