Perlman Price Young Entrepreneurs Program awards seed funding to two Club members

The Fall 2017 Perlman Price Young Entrepreneurs program graduates include (back row left to right) Brandon Stewart, Chesne Van As, Gwen Goodacre, Jessica Contreras, Sawyer Dunn-Matrullo, Jakobi Davis, (front row left to right) Karen Jeanty, Brianna Ransome, Jakobie Green, Alexis Cherryholmes and Katherine Buley.

The Perlman Price Young Entrepreneurs (PYE) program recently celebrated its Fall 2017 graduates, which included 11 high school students from various schools across Sarasota County. With support from Richard E. Perlman and James K. Price, students received 65+ hours of entrepreneurial education throughout this program and developed critical thinking, leadership and financial literacy skills through practical business exposure and mentorships with local leaders in the entrepreneurial field.

The graduates included Brandon Stewart, Chesne Van As, Gwen Goodacre, Jessica Contreras, Sawyer Dunn-Matrullo, Jakobi Davis, Karen Jeanty, Brianna Ransome, Jakobie Green, Alexis Cherryholmes and Katherine Buley.

At the beginning of the session, the students were introduced to the concepts of entrepreneurship and learned how to identify opportunities to meet the unique demands in a variety of markets. As the training progressed, the teens put their problem-solving skills to the test and began developing their own business ideas.

Once the class developed their business ideas, the students conducted market research to collect, organize and interpret data on potential customers and competitors. After the data collection, the teens learned about the cost of doing business, focusing on why fixed, variable and start-up expenses are necessary to turn their ideas into a functioning business plan. The teens learned how to market their ideas to attract, obtain and retain customers. Then, thanks to the generosity of Alfstad& Contemporary, which is situated in the historical Ace Theatre building in the Design District of Sarasota and features two exhibition spaces, a video screening room and a print-making studio, the students pitched their business plans at the end of the program to local investors for a chance at securing start-up funds.

The students created a variety of business plans and were paired with mentors who can help them in their fields of interest, but in the end, the first-place winner was 15-year-old Jakobi Davis, a freshman enrolled in the IB program at Riverview High School.

“He has a passion for engineering and wants to pursue a career in the engineering field, so he created Novum,” said Caroline Windom, Entrepreneurial Programs Specialist at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.

“The goal of Novum is to produce a bicycle cell phone charger that converts kinetic energy from a bike to electric energy to charge a cell phone,” said Davis, “My company works to provide efficient, effective, and affordable renewable energy. The products and innovations created by my company will catalyze a change in the way we see renewable energy.”

As the winner, Davis will receive $3,500 to start his business and will continue to work with his mentor to develop prototypes.

Brianna Ransome, a 16-year-old Florida Virtual School sophomore, was the second-place winner, and will receive $1,000 to start her business venture, Temper-A-Stir.

“I decided to create Temper-A-Stir because I love drinking coffee, but I’ve burnt my tongue too many times,” said Ransome. “Temper-A-Stir will manufacture a coffee stirrer and help people enjoy their favorite hot drinks, without worrying about harming themselves with painful temperatures. My company will also promote reusable products instead of those that are thrown to waste.”

Congratulations to Jakobi and Brianna and to the Fall 2017 PYE class for successfully completing this program!

PYE is offered three-times a year at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, specifically in the Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center. High school students who are interested in participating in the PYE program this spring can sign up today by clicking here. For more information, contact Caroline Windom, Entrepreneurial Programs Specialist, at 941-217-5295 or cwindom@bgcsarasota.com.