The transformation of Students to CEOs

Witness the launch of several Baton Rouge Area start-ups at our annual Investor Panel, as these young entrepreneurs:
• Pitch their businesses to a panel of area executives
• Seek seed funding to launch their real companies
• Compete for a spot at the national YEA pitch competition

MARY ELIZABETH BARROW

BikeStream: on-the-road bike safety solution

CHELSEA BUCKLEY & GABRIELLE SYLVESTER

YouCube: a quieter fidget cube for ADHD kids

TYSHAWN HOWARD & BREA MILES

Never Alz Alone: Alzheimer patient safety device and app

CARSEN MANUEL

Archi-Self: app to architect your dream home

CONDOLEEZZA SEMIEN

Beluga Bliss: aromatherapy pillows

SEED FUNDING AWARDS

ABHAY BASIREDDY

Native Bash: app to learn language and culture from natives

CHANNING HALL

Backstage: theatre management app

SARAH ISRAEL

Triple-S Show Supplies: online store for livestock show items

ZOE PATTON

Ohana Hub: non-profit tutoring and mentoring service for foster teens

ROLAND TOUPS

Multi-Vue: aerial photography service

STUDENTS SPEAK TO THE VALUE OF YEA BR

AKSHAY BASIREDDY

Instabrush: travel toothbrush head that attaches to a toothpaste tube

JACK HOSFORD & LILLY RAY

E.As.E: tabletop arcades

LOIS LEYERLE

Radiant Face: an environmentally friendly skin care company

CHARLIE ROTH

Reaction Relief: 2-in-1 hot/cold pack for injury contrast therapy

TREVOR TURNER

DormMenity: service that takes the stress away on your move-in day

Full Program:


National Success Stories

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Shreyas Parab

CEO, NovelTie

Shreyas Parab founded NovelTie, a company that makes unique neckties, such as “stud muffin,” and “chick magnet,” using symbols, icons and words. He got the idea because his school requires boys to wear ties.

“It’s something very few kids get to say, but, I am a small business owner,” says Parab, who participated in the YEA class hosted by National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) of Greater Philadelphia.

“Through YEA!, I have learned basic and advanced lessons from experienced business leaders, entrepreneurs, and mentors. I now know how to perfect an elevator pitch, write a comprehensive and thorough business plan, network with professionals, turn a business into a legal entity, and more importantly, I learned the dedication and determination it takes to be an entrepreneur, a small business owner, and a member of the professional world,” says Parab.

After being named a finalist in YEA’s Saunders Scholars Competition, Parab is preparing to head to Washington, DC to compete for up to $50,000 in college scholarship funding and business prize packages.

I learned the dedication and determination it takes to be an entrepreneur, a small business owner, and a member of the professional world.
— Shreyas Parab, CEO, NovelTie
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Rachel Zietz

CEO, Gladiator Lacrosse

If you were a 13-year-old lacrosse player who didn’t like the equipment on the market, what would you do? Well, if you were Rachel Zietz, you would start your own company. That company, Gladiator Lacrosse, was launched through YEA, and has surpassed $1 Million in sales.

Rachel was involved through every step of product development—from product conception to selection of materials, packaging and actual manufacturing, her attention to detail led Gladiator Lacrosse to be the top seller on both Amazon and eBay.

She signed lacrosse superstar, Casey Powell, as the brand ambassador, and pitched Gladiator Lacrosse to the Sharks on ABCs Shark Tank, getting a tweet from Robert Herjavec himself, “Rachel will have a seat next to me in the tank one day, she’s a shark in the making!”

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Brandon Boynton

CEO, MostBeastlyStudios, LLC

Brandon Boynton is a 2014 graduate of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce YEA class in Anderson, IN. Boynton is the CEO of MostBeastlyStudios LLC, a mobile applications development suite.

While in the YEA program, Brandon focused on his flagship product, The BullyBøx, a mobile application that allows students to safely an anonymously report bullying in schools. The app empowers students by allowing them to report on a platform that is comfortable to them…their mobile devices. 

Since graduating from YEA, Boynton has been featured on CNBC and in several national publications.  As a result of their momentum, MostBeastlyStudios has  built additional apps across various mobile platforms. Not only has Boynton served on his local Chamber of Commerce, he was appointed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business panel.  He has also returned to YEA to serve as a mentor.

YEA and the people behind it truly changed my life.
— Brandon Boynton, CEO, MostBeastlyStudios, LLC

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The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
— Walt Disney