Coronado Chamber Of Commerce Hosts Inaugural Young Entrepreneurs Academy Competition - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado Chamber Of Commerce Hosts Inaugural Young Entrepreneurs Academy Competition

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Posted: Friday, June 5, 2015 11:02 am

The Coronado Chamber of Commerce recently hosted Coronado’s first ever YEA local competition in the Winn Room at the Coronado Public Library. YEA (Young Entrepreneurs Academy) is a national after school program founded in 2004 designed to encourage entrepreneurship amongst 10-18 year old students. Through the YEA program, students are taught to cultivate their own business ideas with assistance from various local experts.

The local competition and program was conducted by local Chamber of Commerce member and financial advisor Matt Pontes. The Coronado YEA competition featured three separate business ideas: a shaved ice company, a sandwich & smoothie shop and a quiz application designed for students. The three companies were competing for $7500 in prize money offered up by the Coronado Chamber of Commerce along with a $500 gift certificate to Sam’s Club.

All participants of the program underwent a 25 week program where students were guided through the entire process of crafting a business plan which entailed conducting market research, creating a marketing plan, developing financial statements, planning sales projections, obtaining appropriate insurance, permitting and licensing among other responsibilities.

The culmination of the program saw each company present their business idea to a panel of investors this past Thursday. Presentations were six minutes in length and were followed by a question and answer segment, conducted by the investor panel, to lend clarity to the business ideas. The panel consisted of three business professionals holding a Masters degree or higher. The judges consisted of a real estate investor, a seasoned investing expert and professional sports agent.

The group, consisting of Coronado Middle School 7th grader Treg Miller and Coronado High School senior Jerry Nutter, pitched the idea of having a local shaved ice company. Miller and Nutter’s business idea, Frost Shaved Ice, would bring high quality shaved ice with premium toppings to Coronado. The company is already in discussions with local businesses to share space on site while doing business in a mutually beneficial fashion in areas of high foot traffic.

The Shack, the brainchild of Padraig Macgabann and Aidan Golding, plans to initially serve Cubano sandwiches and Acai products in a kiosk at the ferry landing. Both members conducted extensive product research to ensure only the best recipes and ingredients were utilized. The menu offerings of The Shack were set to increase after the first six months of the company’s existence. In particular, the refining of the acai recipe (which took 15 revisions to perfect) was particularly appreciate by the judges as the panel was able to delight in the delicious product offered by the co-owners of The Shack.

Michael Cervantes is the sole creator of Evonomics, a quiz application designed for mobile devices that both informs users and solicits user assistance in growing the quiz question database. Cervantes looks to provide purpose and functional, fun quizzing to users of the application. It was through the studying for his own subject matter and AP tests that Cervantes came up with the inspiration to create the topic-focused quiz application. Cervantes would initially create quiz questions himself but, much the same way that Wikipedia relies on users to contribute content, Evonomics would grow its collection of quiz questions through the submissions of users themselves.

The winner of the competition was deemed to be Frost Shaved Ice as the investor panel praised their detailed marketing plan, extensive market research and the overall readiness to begin their business. Frost Shaved Ice received the full amount of their funding request, $3,000, to begin their business. Evonomics was applauded for its crowdsourcing inventiveness and the progressive nature of the business idea. Cervantes and Evonomics received the full funding amount requested of $1,500.

The recipient of the Sam’s Club $500 gift certificate was the company based around Cubano sandwiches and Acai, The Shack. The owners of The Shack were commended for their presenting prowess and their strong familiarity with their core food offerings. Additionally, the investor panel noted that The Shack would indeed satisfy an unfulfilled niche at the ferry landing should they indeed open there as indicated in the business plan. The Shack received $3,000 to fund their business idea from the Coronado Chamber of Commerce.

The five student participants of this year’s YEA featured Toastmasters members, athletes, accomplished scholars, broadcast contributors and driven, ambitious students to be sure. The students will have an opportunity to refine their products and receive feedback at an upcoming YEA trade show which will act as the final event of the 30 week program.

For future consideration for contributions, participation and involvement, contact Matt Pontes with the Chamber of Commerce at

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