LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) July 24, 2019 -- The Rooks-Sarnicola Entrepreneurial Institute has just awarded Jake Groendal a total grant of $10,000 in seed money to fund the 21-year-old student entrepreneur’s new business startup, ‘Friends & Family Sneakers.’ It marks the second year in a row that Muskegon Community College’s entrepreneurial institute has given seed capital to an aspiring entrepreneur attending the school while attempting to kickstart a new business. The institute is named, in part, after its co-benefactor, Nick Sarnicola who in 2016 donated $200,000 as a permanent endowment through his non-profit, Next Generation Entrepreneurs (“NextGen”). Part of the endowment supports the school in continually empowering young entrepreneurs in the inter-cities with business funds, ongoing education, training and mentorship.
NextGen was founded by Sarnicola in 2011 who initially donated $1 million to help educate, equip and financially support the next generation of entrepreneurs in starting businesses. In 2016, it partnered with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) to collaborate on offering summer camps, after-school programs and in-school entrepreneurial curriculum designed to empower youth to turn business dreams into realities.
“My greatest passion is to teach the subject of entrepreneurship and support those who innovate companies that can also create social impact in some way,” said Sarnicola, Founder of NextGen. “My business partner, Blake Mallen and I started as 19-year-old entrepreneurs who self-taught ourselves everything when it came to building billion-dollar brands. But, we wish we had had the education, training and support early on to help set us up for success. So, we’re doing everything we can to support vision-driven entrepreneurs at the beginning of their journey and give them short-cuts to success. It’s the whole reason why NextGen was born.”
The Next Gen / Sarnicola Entrepreneur Award process includes two rounds of business plan presentations judged by a panel of local business leaders. Recognized for his unique business idea, social impact vision and strong executable plan, Groendal was selected from a diverse pool of highly qualified entrepreneurial student candidates and planned to launch an online business around buying and reselling sneakers. The previous year’s $10,000 seed capital recipient was Muskedon college student, Cody Thiel who started ThoughtBucket as a creative marketing agency to connect small business owners with college students for affordable graphic design services.
“A lot of us growing up weren’t educated or encouraged to become entrepreneurs and were instead pressured to pursue the ‘traditional’ path of graduating college, getting a corporate job and working our way up from the bottom,” said Blake Mallen, NextGen Advisory Board Member. “Our vision is to inspire and support passionate, talented college students like Jake and Cody to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams now, instead of getting stuck on a career path that doesn’t serve them.”
To help support a young entrepreneur through the NextGen’s educational workshops, training programs and seed capital investments, visit supportnextgen.com.
About Nick Sarnicola and Blake Mallen
Nick Sarnicola and Blake Mallen are the Co-Founders of two global lifestyle brands, Vi and Liv, providing platforms that power health transformations, inspire people to turn their “Bucket List” into a “Liv List,” and create social impact worldwide. They are noted keynote speakers and are featured in industry publications on the topics of entrepreneurship, leadership and personal growth. NextGen Info: http://supportnextgen.org/ Connect @nicksarnicola and @blakemallen.
BAM PRESS TEAM, BAM Enterprises, 248-764-7640, [email protected]