~News Release from Arkansas Capital~
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (December 8, 2016) ~ A new product idea born from recycled basketballs; an opportunity to customize an umbrella with waterproof phone pockets; and creating health- and body-friendly products using aromatherapy, essential oils, and steam vapors from the springs of Hot Springs National Park are among the top 25 business ideas advancing to the final round of the 12th annual Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas, presented by the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), a 501(c)(3) affiliate of Arkansas Capital Corporation.
The Top 25 finalists, in alphabetical order by team name, are:
Bags For Ballers; Cotter School District, Cotter
Dash Brush; Southwest Middle School, Searcy
Dog Deli; Sheridan Intermediate School, Sheridan
Flower of Life Gourmet Chocolates; Omaha School District, Omaha
Jewelry Tek; Manila Middle School, Manila
JK Mistikle Lights; Cutter Morning Star Elementary, Hot Springs
Lip Services; Carlisle Elementary, Carlisle
Live or Die; Greenwood Junior High, Greenwood
MacMagic; Pinnacle View Middle School, Little Rock
Mason Banks Organizers; Manila Middle School, Manila
Page Chewers; Hazen Elementary, Hazen
Pape-R-Us; Forest Heights STEM Academy,Little Rock
Pocrella; Bradford Elementary School, Bradford
Roll ‘n Go; Spring Hill School District, Hope
Sal de la Vida; Omaha School District, Omaha
Simply Yours by Z & P; Greenwood Junior High, Greenwood
Spirit Baggers; Sheridan Intermediate School, Sheridan
Sports Boards; South Side Elementary, Bee Branch
Sweet Feet; Bergman Middle School, Bergman
Techno Robotics Gear; Henderson Middle School, Little Rock
The Compact Case; Don Tyson School of Innovation, Springdale
The Giving Girlz2; Pangburn School District, Pangburn
The Natural State: V.O.V Bracelet; Lakeside Middle School, Hot Springs
Trendy T-Shirt Tribe 2; Cotter School District, Cotter
X-ACK Exact Key to Wellness; Omaha School District, Omaha
The finalists were selected from 142 teams representing 25 schools from 15 Arkansas counties. More than 60 volunteer judges from across the state, representing the agriculture, business, government, banking, health care, and engineering/science sectors judged the plans.
The Top 25 teams will now prepare to showcase their ideas and their sales skills at the 2017 Y.E.S. for Arkansas Expo Day, January 27, on the third level of Park Plaza in Little Rock. The Expo will be from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., with the winners announced at a 1:30 p.m. awards ceremony on the mall’s second level. The public is invited to enjoy watching the young entrepreneurs in action and will be able to buy their products. Judges will be visiting the teams during this period to select first- through fourth-place winners in three categories: Most Innovative Product, Best Marketing Piece, and Best Retail Booth Display. The winners in the Best Business Plan division were determined in the first round, and will also be announced at the awards ceremony.
Cash prizes totaling $1,100 and a school trophy will be awarded to the advisors of the four top teams in each category ($4,400 total). Cash prizes of up to $1,050 are awarded to all students who are members of the top three teams (up to $4,200 total). The four teams in each category also receive souvenir medals.
To compete in Y.E.S., the 5th – 8th grade students worked in teams to devise a business idea that they felt was new or innovative in that marketplace. The next step was to engage in a real-world, hands-on entrepreneurial process to create a written plan that would be attractive to lenders and investors. The plan had to include a company overview, a product or service description outlining its features and benefits, a statement on why the product is innovative, a marketing strategy, and a projected Statements of Funds Needed and Income Statement for one year.