The Nation’s Top Young Entrepreneurs
What great young entrepreneurs do you know? This series is a round-up of some of the nation’s top young entrepreneurs. Between the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation. Inc Magazine 30 under 30, and top earning young internet entrepreneurs we’ll be serving up some great role models for current and future business owners.
This year, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation’s “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Award and Scholarship Winner was Shayna Turk. Shayna is the teenage director and founder of Shayna Turk’s Academy of Rising Stars (STARS) www.dramastars.com, a musical theater camp which she started at age 11. The camp gives children, regardless of talent level, a chance to experience the thrill and excitement of stage performing. Acting since she was five years old, her inspiration for the camp grew after seeing younger children in her community get turned down for starring roles in local performances because of their age. Ms. Turk markets, produces, directs, choreographs and stages all of the shows put on by her camp. To date, she has produced nine different musicals over a six year period. Starting with just eight kids, STARS now has over 30 campers annually. Each camp puts on four performances of each show with approximately 100 people in attendance per show. Shayna also offers a one day a week and one weekend day enrichment program on a limited basis during the school year. In addition to helping aspiring stage performers, STARS is also helping children in another way. All proceeds from her camp’s performances are donated to Music for Heart, a charity founded by the parents of one of her campers born with a congenital heart disease.
Austin Hochstatter of Austin, Texas: Mr. Hochstatter turned his love of film into Watch Your Head Productions (www.watchyourheadproductions.com), a film and video production company that provides comprehensive on site production and post production solutions. In just a nine month period, Watch Your Head Productions has secured 13 paying clients.
David Conway of Wilton, Connecticut: Mr. Conway is the founder of CoolCash Coins, (www.coolcashcoins.com) a coin appraisal business. He started the business in 2007 as a way to encourage the collection of and investment in U.S. coins and currency. Cool Cash Coins’ client base continues to grow, and David continues to generate income by investing company revenue into stocks and precious metals. David also donates his appraisal services to several non-profit organizations, including UNICEF.
Ian Purkayastha of Fayetteville, Arkansas: Mr. Purkayastha is the founder of Tartufi Unlimited (www.tartufiunlimited.com), a truffle importing company that sells fresh Italian and French truffles to fine restaurants, caterers and specialty distributors nationwide. His first truffle order netted a 300 percent profit. Since signing a contract with a reputable Italian truffle supplier, Ian has seen his company’s sales grow.
Jake Detwiler of Marysville, Ohio: Mr. Detwiler is the founder of Mitchells Farm-Jake’s Division (www.mitchellsberries.com), an expansion of his parents owned and operated U-Pick raspberry farm. In 2006, Jake took out a $5,000 Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan to expand his parents’ farm by planting 5,000 black raspberry plants on two-and-a-half acres rented from his grandfather. Jake has also added strawberries to the farm’s product line. Since taking out the FSA loan, Jake sold 1,380 pounds of black raspberries in 2008 and 2,090 pounds in 2009. As a result of this success, Jake is looking to add different fruits to the farm’s product line and started planting plasticulture strawberries as part of a test experiment.
- NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Press Release.
- Inc Magazine 3o Entrepreneurs under 30. Link.
- Top Earning Websites in the World Run by Young Entrepreneurs. Link.
- The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, coming to a college near you! Link.
Who did we miss? Post here to have your favorite young entrepreneur featured.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at www.NFIB.com/YEF. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.
Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.
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Entry filed under: Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur. Tags: Austin Hochstatter, Cool Cash Coins, David Conway, DramaStars, Ian Purkayastha, Inc 30 under 30, Jake Detwiler, Mitchells Farm-Jake's Division, Shayna Turk, Tartufi Unlimited, Watch Your Head Productions, Young Entrepreneur of the Year.