YEM “Fish Tank” offers pitch competition for youth in front of entrepreneur judges

Ithaca’s Youth Entrepreneurship Market and Mentor Program is holding its first ever “Shark Tank-Style” pitch competition this Saturday afternoon before a panel of local entrepreneur judges, and there are cash prizes up to $500 for the best business ideas.

Saturday’s panel of judges includes Dan Smalls (Dan Smalls Presents), Via Carpenter (Via’s Cookies), Kevin Sullivan (Luna Inspired Street Food, Purity Ice Cream, and more), and Elisa Miller-Out (Chloe Capital).

“We’re trying to give the kids a real pitch experience with some great panelist judges, and real cash for their projects,” organizer Ethan Ash tells 14850 Magazine.

“Elisa provides funding for women-owned businesses professionally, so she jumped at helping,” Ethan says. “I love Via’s social enterprise approach, and we’re trying to teach the entrepreneurship mindset and giving back. A lot of kids do food businesses, so we asked Kevin because he has been growing as a food entrepreneur. Dan has been involved in the program for years, and his kid was part of it.”

The YEM Fish Tank is Saturday, May 21st from 1-3pm at the State Theatre of Ithaca on West State Street in Downtown Ithaca.

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