YES! Week Encourages Young Entrepreneurs

The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (NACET) would like to thank the many sponsors, business executives and participants who made the first ever Young Entrepreneurial Scholars (YES!) Week possible.

“YES! Week” exposed nine creative and innovative high school students from Flagstaff public and charter schools to the world of entrepreneurship. During the week, the students broke into teams and created three businesses from scratch. They designed logos, recorded both video and audio commercials and presented detailed business plans to a panel of judges in an end-of-week competition.

Throughout the five days they were inspired by presentations from some of Flagstaff’s entrepreneurial elite: Sean Tierney (Scratch Audio), Phil Keesee (Northern Arizona Signs); John Keegan (Slednecks Outwear); Michael Manson and Rick Rampton (Motor Excellence); Craig Watkins (Red OTS and Red 115 Aveda Salons); Jim Hunter (Small Business Development Center/JB Hunter Corporation); Kristen Keyes (Keyes Communications); Elizabeth Driebe (TGen North); Ross Taylor (Southwest Windpower); John VanLandingham (Old Town Shops); Bonnie Stevens (Ecological Restoration Group); Rand Jenkins (The Green Room) and Melissa Meno (WearEarth). The entire week was facilitated by Trish Rensink and Jamey Hasapis of the BelleWether Group.

In addition to the staffs of the Chamber and NACET, YES! Week also received supporting sponsorship from the following: Big Foot Barbeque; Brookside Chocolate Company and Ice Cream Shop; the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona; Fratelli’s Pizza; Northern Arizona University; Salsa Brava and Tinderbox Kitchen.

Lastly, a big thank you to our first class of students, who were inspiring and of whom we are expecting great things: Marco Bifano, Kristian Candelaria, Anthony Horn and Ben Ksiazek (Coconino High School); Davis Hoyt, Stephanie Hoyt, and Brook Wiley (Northland Preparatory Academy); and Ahmed Marian and Lindsey Smith (Flagstaff High School).

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