Student entrepreneur finalists appear with last year’s winner and Aspen Academy founder & CEO (L to R): Samantha Durand, Malia Bulloch, Rhyan Schaff, Nolan Cooper (2018 Student Winner, CEO of Promposal), Kristina Scala (CEO & founder, Aspen Academy), Roman Bradley, Ella Shofnos and Kylie Schultz (2019 winner).
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After making it through two rounds of “shark tanks,” pitching their businesses to successful entrepreneurs in early April, six eighth-grade students were selected for the final round of pitching Friday, April 12. Students received coaching, counsel and were asked questions by entrepreneur judges whose careers span industries from retail to health care. The finalists’ businesses range from microwave baked goods and lip scrubs to iPhone apps and cleaner for your car’s backup camera.
The Capstone project for Eighth Grade, the student businesses are the culmination of the Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute, nation’s only kindergarten through eighth Grade wholly sequenced, year- long curriculum incorporating economics, personal financial literacy, organizational leadership and entrepreneurship. Through the curriculum, students are exposed to a wide variety of lifelong financial skills that they take into the world for their personal savings and to contribute to the greater world. The eighth-grade student businesses incorporate social responsibility with proceeds benefiting nonprofit organizations.
And the winner is…
Kylie Schultz was named the first place winner for her app, X Factor Sports. Kylie intends to use the proceeds from winning to expand her market beyond Colorado into other states. When asked what she’s learned about herself through this process, Kylie noted: “I learned that I’m a quick study. I learned to code to be able to create this app.” Second place winners were Ryhan Schaff, CEO of All Clear and Ella Shofnos, CEO of Babycakes Colorado. Third place winner was Malia Bulloch, CEO of Aloha Lips.
The sense of pride, confidence, resilience, and joy these students have as a result is palpable. “I have learned many things about creating a business. One of which was that nothing goes to plan…There have been many bumps along the way, but they have helped form my business to what it is today. Nothing will ever go to plan in the business world and it’s up to you on how you deal with it.” – Rhyan Schaff, CEO and Founder off All Clear (backup camera cleaner)
“Creating this business took a lot of patience and concentration. I have learned so many public speaking skills, not only selling my product but, also presenting in front of the judges. I will continue to use these skills throughout my life for future presentations, sales pitches and beyond. It’s been a wonderful experience overall and has taught me so many things.” – Malia Bulloch, CEO and founder, Aloha Lips (lip scrubs)
“This project is just one example of how Aspen Academy students are empowered to do good, work hard and make the world better. They are building the capabilities that will serve them in uncertain and highly technical global economy,” says Kristina Scala, founder and CEO of Aspen Academy. “Further, they’re learning their strengths and how to position themselves as leaders, as well as how to bring an idea to life.”
For more information on Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute, visit www.aspenacademy.org.
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