A Manhattan Beach 6th grader has won 3rd place in a national competition for young entrepreneurs, with his wearable sling for pet reptiles.
Twelve-year-old Dallas Nurre was among 22 students from around the country selected - from more than 1,000 students - to compete in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Saunders
Scholars Competition on June 4.
The national competition was fierce, as the student CEOs competed “Shark Tank” style for $80,000 in college scholarships and cash prizes.
Nurre, a student Manhattan Beach Middle School, finished in 3rd place, which came with a $1000 cash prize and a $20,000 scholarship to the Rochester Institute of Technology.
His business, Reptile Rovers, at www.reptilerovers.com
, makes a wearable sling for pet reptiles so the owner can transport them effectively without causing the reptiles anxiety. (See his pitch here
Nurre’s bearded dragon Sandy was with him during both of his presentations.
“How well behaved she was during the competition is all due to the Reptile Rover product, which keeps her calm," said Nurre.
As for his future plans, Nurre said, “I plan to grow my business to much larger heights and expand as much as I can. You’re going to see Reptile Rovers in local pet stores soon.”
“I’m very grateful to the YEA program because they are the reason I was able to start my
business," Nurre added. "Now, instead of just being a kid, I’m the CEO of a company.”
YEA! A Manhattan Beach Tradition
YEA! is a 501(c)3 offering
classes and workshops that teach middle and
high school students how to start and run their own businesses.
The Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce runs the local Young Entrepreneurs Academy
class each year
starting in the fall. (The program tuition is $895.)
During the nine-month program, students meet for three hours once a
week after school to learn all the strategies for creating and starting their
own legal business. Students develop business ideas, write business
plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of
investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own fully formed
companies and social movements.
More than 50 volunteers
from the community give their time to help the young entrepreneurs. Volunteers who provide assistance include
graphic designers who help bring students'
visions to life; CEOs who impart business wisdom and knowledge; and
accountants, lawyers, speech coaches, and more
who help them acquire the tools they need to succeed.
At the end of each program, one student is chosen to go on and compete on the national level
Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today's youth and tomorrow's future leaders. For more information, visit yeausa.org