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Young state entrepreneurs sought for business pitch

Junior Achievement of Wisconsin (JA), will award a $10,000 grand prize scholarship to the 2021 Wisconsin Young Entrepreneur of the Year, in a live online competition. A Viewer’s Choice Award will also be chosen during the online competition.

The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Ernst & Young, has typically been awarded at the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame event each spring, with the judging happening behind closed doors. This year, the event will be available online to the public with a live “shark tank” style competition for students to pitch their best entrepreneur initiatives, to a panel of celebrity judges Thursday, Jan. 28, from 3:30-5 p.m.

Judges include Craig Culver, founder of Culver’s; Craig Karmazin, founder and CEO of Good Karma Brands; Todd Nelson, CEO of Kalahari resort; Christine Specht, CEO of Cousins Subs; and Denise Thomas, the Effective Communication Coach. A Viewer’s Choice award will be chosen for an additional cash prize.

Any Wisconsin student in grades five through 12, is eli- gible to submit an entry if they are a legal resident of the United States and Wisconsin, and are currently enrolled in a primary, middle or high school (public, private, parochial, virtual or home school).

The student entrepreneur must have been an owner or manager of a seasonal or year-round private, or public company, in operation since January 2020. Multiple student owners will equally share the scholarship/prize money. The student applicants must have had continuous ownership or management throughout the existence of their business.

“This competition personifies our organization’s mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy,” said Michael Frohna, president of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. “Each year, we see examples of young people with phenomenal business acumen. We can’t wait to see the 2021 contestants.”

Student entrepreneurs can visit to review requirements, and learn how to submit an application and video about their business. The application deadline is Monday, Nov. 30.