Business & Finance

Local Students Participate in Young Entrepreneurs Academy ‘Shark Tank’ Style Contest

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2017 Westfield Area YEA! students await the panel's decision. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Paul Hahn, moderator Terry Viney, Sadie Munoz, Matt Pindilli, Ari Wolf, Mario Cesario and Mitch Beinhaker. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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WESTFIELD, NJ — Students from Union Catholic, AIT, and UCVTS in Scotch Plains were among the participants in the annual Westfield Area Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) competition.

Westfield High School students Ari Wolf and Mat Pindilli won the Shark Tank-style investors panel Wednesday night with their business plan for Wolf Wear, easy-to-use wrist wraps that they invented for athletes. Sadie Munoz, a sixth grader at South Orange Middle School, was the runner up with her stuffed cupcake company Pinata Cupcakes.

Other participants in the program and Wednesday’s event included Alyssa Chin of Union Catholic High School, Brendan Cox of Westfield High School, Anthea Dagiantis of Union Catholic High School, Nick Giuditta of Union Catholic High School, Simone Ibarrando of Union Catholic High School, Matthew Li of AIT in Scotch Plains, Magdalena Lyszczak of Union Catholic High School, Ethan Manning of Westfield High School, Charolotte Moore of Westfield High School, Kayla O’Brien of Edison Intermediate School, Sabrina Perla of UCVTS in Scotch Plains, Manali Shah of UCVTS in Scotch Plains and Clara Wasserman of Lawton Jognson Middle School.

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Wolf (9th grade) and Pindilli (10th grade) will advance to the YEA! Saunders Scholars Competition in Rochester, NY, where they will compete with students across the U.S. and India for college scholarships and business start-up prize packages. Winners of the semi-finals competition will advance to the finals in Washington, DC. The Westfield Area YEA! is sponsored by the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The GWACC's Mario Cesario of Cesar-Kai Academy in Cranford announced the winners:

YEA! instructor Paul Hahn noted that there were no losers that night, as all of the companies the students created received actual funding from the investors on the panel, which included: Maria Fuentes of Northfield Bank and president of the GWACC; Robert Anderson, Esq., of Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper; Maria Halkias of PNC Bank; Marc Epstein of The Optimist Club; Raymond E. Ambrosino, CFP, of GSS, Inc.; Tony D’Amato of Imagine That! A Children’s Museum; Christopher S. Drake, CLU, CAP, of Drake Consulting Group, LLC; Kamal Assad of Sign-A-Rama; and Naomi Floy and Camden Beinhaker of Flexēbo, a company they formed while they were in the YEA! program.

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