Ready for the shark tank

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 15, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – Twelve of the area’s youngest CEOs are gearing up to pitch their business plans at an Investor’s Panel scheduled for March 27.

The students are participants in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, an innovative program hosted by the River Region Chamber of Commerce that guides students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year.

The YEA showcase will be reminiscent of the TV show “Shark Tank,” in which entrepreneurs lay out business plans, prototypes and financial projections to a panel of possible investors.

At a YEA recent meeting, Program Manager Annette Wray spoke to the class about the importance of good posture and confidence as students presented their six-minute business plans to each other for practice. Students critiqued each other and gave constructive criticism about what could be improved upon.

The YEA class of 2103-2014 includes students Jacqueline Beisel, Mariah Brown, Julian Charron, Breanna Epperly, Nigel Frere, Jude Guidry, Malik Johnson, Kia Lewis, Mia Meyer, Kaitlyn Cooke, Dyun McKinley and Madeleine Millet.

The YEA Investor Panel will be held on March 27 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the John L. Ory auditorium. The public is invited to attend.

“As much as it’s important to have dedicated and committed students, it’s equally as important to have the community involved, invested and supporting this program and these students,” said Wray.

One student from this year’s class will be chosen at the Investor Panel to compete in a regional competition on May 8 and 9 in Frisco, Texas. Winners from regionals will go on to compete at a national competition in Washington, D.C.