i.Invest National Youth Business Competition and Mentorship Program Announces 2017 Business of the Year

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Youth business leaders compete in six-month web-based entrepreneurship competition

“The i.Invest competition was an amazing learning experience,” said Khakhar, i.Invest first-place winner. “What really makes it different is that over the course of six-months, the companies progress and iterate while being guided by mentors."

Youth entrepreneurs from New York, Virginia and Alabama walked away with cash and in-kind prizes after competing in the second annual i.Invest National Youth Entrepreneur Business Competition. i.Invest, a web-based mentorship program for youth 13 - 19 years-old, includes three rounds of scoring, group coaching, one-on-one mentoring and a virtual finale pitch event.

Guided by business and academic leaders from organizations, including Johns Hopkins University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Google, participants are given a unique opportunity to connect with and learn from mentors with experience covering the entire business spectrum.

This year’s winners are:

1st Place – PrepUP. Developed by Akhilesh Khakhar, a 17-year-old Brooklyn, NY high-school student, the free test preparation app brings students together on social media platforms to study for the SAT and ACT college preparatory exams. The app offers an interactive, live, head-to-head match between its users. Prize: $2,000 and title of i.Invest 2017 National Youth Business of the Year.

2nd Place - Face the Facts. Created by Jason Kao and Chauncey Lau, both 17, of New York, NY, Face the Facts creates apparel for environmentally conscious consumers and display graphics in a way that supports a social issue while raising awareness. Prize: $1,000.

3rd Place - Software Flow. Daniel Mousavi, 14, of Great Falls, VA., along with his younger brother, designed a board game and interactive game app - Immigrant’s Nightmare and Immigrant Challenge – to address the immigration crisis around the globe. Prize: $500.

Community Investment Award – Official Clutch Band. Birmingham, AL musicians, Timothy Huffman, 19, and his brother, Wesley Huffman, 17, help form the ensemble. Performing a wide genre of music ranging from bebop, jazz, smooth jazz, R&B classics and Motown hits, the band released its first CD in 2016. Prize: $250.

i.Invest ‘Rising Star’ Award – HoverHouse. Riley LeHane, 13, of Rhinebeck, NY created a hoverboard party pop-up and equipment rental company. Prize: $100.

"Youth innovators are the job creators of the very near future," said Michelle Jackson, founder and executive director of i.Invest. "Inspiring creativity early and nurturing that creativity is a way to ensure that our future is left in the hands of leaders who can transform a simple idea into a marketable product or service. i.Invest was designed to help prepare youth for business leadership."

In addition to the cash awards, PrepUP and Face the Facts will receive a one-hour consulting session with Don Morrison, serial entrepreneur and chairman of deal flow at BlueTree Allied Angels in Pittsburgh, PA. Each winner will also receive in-kind awards from PR Solutions LLC, a strategic marketing and public relations firm in New Orleans, LA, #EYECON Youth Conference in Baltimore, MD and Cherin Law Firm located in Pittsburgh, PA.

“The i.Invest competition was an amazing learning experience,” said Khakhar, i.Invest first-place winner. “What really makes it different is that over the course of six-months, the companies progress and iterate while being guided by mentors. i.Invest provides the mentorship and feedback young start-ups need when they are initially pivoting and choosing a track to follow.”

The 2017 competition was sponsored by On the Set Film Camp and PR Solutions LLC of Louisiana.

The 2018 i.Invest competition will open for online applications, March 1 – May 1. Applicants must be 13 - 19 years-old and have a demonstrable product or service to compete. The application fee is $29. To receive event updates and for sponsorship information visit the i.Invest website at, http://www.i-investcompetition.com or contact Michelle Jackson at mjackson(at)i-investcompetition(dot)com.

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Michelle Jackson

Michelle Jackson
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