The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) of Westfield, a program of the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce, will showcase seven new businesses at Westfield’s Spring Fling on May 1.
YEA! is a groundbreaking educational program that takes students in grades six through twelve through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members, and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand identity and much more! By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation.
“We are lucky to have an amazing group of students that are smart, creative and eager to learn about how to build a business,” Mitchell Beinhaker, founder and co-program manager of YEA! Westfield and managing director of The Beinhaker Law Firm. “This is an excellent experience for these students thanks to the significant support from the Westfield business community including our investors, mentors, instructors and guest-lecturers. Please do not miss the chance to come visit these amazing new businesses created by YEA! Westfield students.”
Students in YEA! Westfield will feature their goods and services in booths located on the corner of East Broad Street and Central Avenue.
Top Seven Things NOT to miss at the Westfield Spring Fling!
- Meet local Bello Bunny artist. Be the first to buy an original t-shirt and customized sketch!
- Need a babysitter? Someone to mow your lawn? Meet local teens who have the answer to your prayers with a new website, CommUnity!
- Experience the “Sweetness of Giving” with Entice Sweets mouth-watering homemade chocolate chip cookies and coconut macaroons. Make sure to stop by to participate in a chocolate chip counting competition for an enticing prize!
- How do you stretch? Come see FleXebo and enter a stretching contest with using FleXebo, the world’s first self-tightening stretch band!
- Show us your sneakers! Let experts from Peep My Kickz value your sneakers and clean them up to sell!
- Attention dog owners! Come explore the Stop & Save, an innovative collar to protect a dog and its owner when walking on dark streets and bad weather!
- Finally, an innovation for those who love a good old fashioned BOOK. Wordmark is a revolutionary bookmark that marks not just the page, but the actual WORD!
“As an entrepreneur myself, I am inspired by effort, ambition and passion these students have demonstrated on a weekly basis. Small businesses are one of the great foundations of America, and this group shows great promise for our future,” said Mario Cesario, YEA! Westfield co-program manager, founder of Cesar-Kai Academy in Cranford and owner of the MAX of Cranford. “Visit the YEA! booth to see them in action.”
About YEA! Westfield Businesses
Bello Bunny and friends are coming your way on t-shirts and custom sketches! Bello Bunny is a company that prints merchandise with original designs of rabbits that are endearing and confident, helping adolescents connect with both their fun, cute sides and their bold, cool sides. All designs are created by a local teen artist, who will be creating unique custom art at the Spring Fling.
CommUnity is a website that matches local teenagers looking for work with adults living in Union County looking to have a certain job performed. What truly sets CommUnity apart is the mutual benefit for both teenagers and adults. Teenagers have flexibility and can work when they want. Adults can hire a teenager in their community to perform many odd jobs such as babysitting, lawn mowing, and snow shoveling. The website will be functional soon at communityjobbulletin.com.
Entice Sweets is a non-profit organization that bakes and sells homemade chocolate chip cookies and coconut macaroons and donates all profits to charity. The Founder and CEO, Ben, is launching his company in Somerset County, New Jersey. His idea for Entice Sweets originated from his passion he had since he was eight of giving back to the community and people in need. He uses a secret family recipe to make his treats taste delicious! Come visit Entice Sweets' booth to experience the "Sweetness of Giving," and to participate in their Enormous Cookie Chocolate Chip Guessing Competition to win an enticing prize!
FleXebo is a stretching aid with the intent of simplifying the stretching process. The actual product, a polypropylene strap, self tightens around the users’ foot on one end and allows the user to lift their leg with a handle on the other end for an intensified leg stretch. Often we find ourselves out of shape with tight muscles. Stretching is a fundamental part of our health that is neglected. FleXebo tackles this issue! FleXebo is perfect for cheerleaders, dancers and all athletes, senior citizens, physical therapy patients and the common lazy couch potato. Everyone needs to stretch! At the Spring Fling you can find two enthused business owners ready to show you how easy it is to use FleXebo. Join us for a series of stretching competitions as we sell out!
Peep My Kickz is an online service (www.peepmykickz.us) selling limited edition sneakers popularized by celebrities and athletes. It entails unlimited access to buy, sell, and trade sneakers. Let us peep your kickz at the Spring Fling. If you stop by with dirty sneakers, Peep My Kickz will show you how to properly clean your sneakers and snag your very own cleaning kit.
WordMark is a revolutionary bookmark that marks exact words rather than whole pages. The product is an arrow attached to an elastic band. This band easily wraps around any sized book. Come to the Spring Fling and buy your book a WordMark!
YEA!’s mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom. In 2008, YEA! “spun-off” from the University of Rochester, where it was formed in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, to create its own not-for-profit corporation, YEA! Inc., which is currently launching sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country to provide comprehensive, exciting entrepreneurship education, leadership development and innovation training to youth between the ages of 11 and 18 years old in the United States thereby making the program available to students at a variety of geographical regions, and providing them with skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.272.3535 or visit www.yeausa.org.
About YEA! Westfield
YEA! Westfield is a program of the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce and led by co-program managers, Mitchell Beinhaker, managing director of The Beinhaker Law Firm, and Mario Cesario, founder of Cesar-Kai Academy in Cranford and owner of the MAX of Cranford.
Instructors for the program include Paul Hahn, Owner of Face-to-Face Technology Training, who taught the first and second segment, Beth Jarecki of Luther Pendragon USA, a corporate communications firm, who is currently teaching the third segment, Michelle Dickinson of Johnson & Johnson who trains and manages the business mentors and Susan Pastuzyn of The Technology Experts, LLC, who coordinates the volunteer program.
See below a list of investors and mentors that have generously contributed to our program:
Mentors: Jake Doran, Jared Friedman, Maria Fuentes, Logan True, Patricia Werschultz, Mark Shore, Harold Star, Tammie Crispino, Brendan Gorman
Investor Panelists: Ken Majmudar, Darielle Walsh, Georgiana Katsingris, Raymond Ambrosino, Robin Lefkowitz, Chris Devine and Jack Killion
For over 60 years, the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce (GWACC) has been connecting commerce and community. The GWACC promotes the economic prosperity of businesses primarily in Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield. It is the largest association of businesses and nonprofits in our area. Members include business owners, professionals, managers and operators. Membership cultivates the opportunity to build relationships, partner, make referrals, increase business, attend lunch and learns, and support the community.
The GWACC hosts three street fairs each year, two in Downtown Westfield and one in the center of Garwood. The chamber also operates the Westfield Farmers Market and runs the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program. The GWACC monthly networking events — one in the early morning and one directly after work — serve as an opportunity for current members to network with each other regularly and for prospective members to come see what we're all about. In addition, the Professional Women’s Committee organizes networking events specifically tailored to women business owners, professionals, and entrepreneurs.
For more information about the GWACC, visit www.gwaccnj.com. You can also call the office at 908-233-3021 Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Our office is located on the 3rd floor of the Bank of America building at 173 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ 07090.
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