April 1, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Meredith Smith 
Communications Manager
High resolution images available upon request

Young Entrepreneurs from Arlington Awarded Funding to Launch Startups

Arlington, VA - On Thursday, March 31 , student entrepreneurs took the stage in the  Reinsch Library Auditorium  at  Marymount University  to present their business plans before a panel of local business leaders and a public audience. The students impressed the crowd with their business plans and presentations and received funding from local businesses. 

"After the impressive showing of last year's YEA! students in the investor panel, we thought it would be hard to top that performance this year,"  said Kate Bates, President & CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. "However, this year's YEA! class definitely went above and beyond, and they continue to inspire us with their hard work and dedication to their businesses. We look forward to seeing their ideas grow moving forward."
Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Arlington students with investor panelists
16 students, ages 13-18, representing nine  businesses from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Arlington had five minutes to pitch their business plans to prominent local members of the business community, during the program's second ever YEA! Investor Panel event. Based on the appeal and merit of the students' plans and presentations, panelists awarded each business the following funds:  
  • AVVO Apparel received $800. AVVO Apparel creates unique, stylish, and affordable handmade t-shirts using a variety of fabrics, sourced mainly from Africa. AVVO Apparel is co-founded by two Washington-Lee High School students, sophomore Rose McGough and senior Dylan Cunningham.  
  • Catch My Bus received their full ask of $540. Catch My Bus is a website that aims to connect to the gps systems in Arlington County school buses to update students and parents on bus schedules and is co-founded by Jill Maisel, a sophomore at Yorktown High School, and Chris Goodhand, a freshman at Commonwealth Academy.
  • Fresh Charges received their full ask of $420. Fresh Charges builds solar rechargeable battery packs and is co-founded by Jack Ogden, an eighth-grader at Rachel Carson Middle School, and Alex Yu, a sophomore at Yorktown High School. 
  • KLM Caregivers received $800. KLM Caregivers provides support and care for senior citizens while they stay in the comfort of their homes, assisting with errands, administrative tasks and companionship. KLM Caregivers is co-founded by Melanie Hanclich, a sophomore at Yorktown High School; Lee Keller, a senior at Commonwealth Academy; and Kyle Billingslea, a senior at Bishop Ireton High School.
  • Kudu Lawn Care LLC, a full service lawn care LLC, received $800. Kudu Lawn Care LLC Owner Mark Yates, Jr., is a sophomore at Yorktown High School.
  • Need 4 Sneaks received $300. Need 4 Sneaks buys, sells and trades limited edition shoes and is co-founded by Ryan Medina, an eighth-grader at Francis C. Hammond Middle School; John Medina, a sophomore at T.C. Williams High School; and Elias Miller, an eighth-grader at Swanson Middle School.
  • Pivloo, a mobile yearbook platform, received $1,000, which was more than their ask of $790. Pivloo Founder Michael Freeman II is a senior at James W. Robinson Secondary School.
  • Q Tech received their full ask of $880. Q Tech creates smart phone cord protectors, and founder Quincy Box is an eighth-grader at Gunston Middle School.
  • Zellybox received their full ask of $802. Zellybox is a subscription box that provides monthly deliveries of tech-accessories. Founder Laura Canseco is an eighth-grader at Holton- Arms School. 
President & CEO Kate Bates with Michael Freeman II of Pivloo
One of the most exciting stories of the evening was Michael Freeman II's Pivloo. Pivloo is a sole proprietorship that offers a mobile app platform allowing users to "snap, shape, and share your memories." Users customize their digital yearbook with captions and decals and share the final product with friends at only a fraction of the cost of regular yearbooks. Pivloo was also selected  as Arlington's Regional Semi-Finalist of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Saunders Scholars National College Scholarship competition. Michael will head to Rochester, New York, in May to participate in the Regional Semi-Finals the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Saunders Scholars National College Scholarship competition, where he will compete for college scholarships, cash prize packages, and the opportunity to attend America's Small Business Summit in Washington, DC courtesy of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

"I'm excited and honored to have been selected as a YEA! Saunders Scholars Semi-finalist," said Michael Freeman, Arlington's Regional Semi-Finalist, "And I hope to meet a lot of amazing people in New York." 
The Investor Panel included the following: 
  • Tina Leone - CEO, Ballston BID
  • Tim Hughes - Managing Shareholder, Bean, Kinney & Korman
  • Ron Novak - Co-Founder, Caring Village
  • Paul Longsworth - Vice President, International Environmental & Nuclear, Fluor
  • Pinkie Dent Mayfield - Vice President-Corporate Affairs and Special Assistant to the Chairman, Graham Holdings Company
  • Sean Hosty - Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Todd Ihrig - H.D. Vest Investment Services
  • Robb Parker - General Manager, Vornado/Charles E. Smith
Students will now begin marketing and selling their products and services while preparing for the YEA! Trade Show to showcase their goods to the general public. The Trade Show is planned for April 28, 2016, at the Ballston BID Farmers Market from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. This event will be free and open to the public. 
The YEA! Investor Panel is made possible thanks to our sponsors , including 
Premier Partner TMI 2.0
Innovation Sponsor Graham Holdings Company ,  
and University Partner Marymount University .

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Arlington is a groundbreaking and exciting program presented by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Arlington, please call 703-525-2400. 


The Young Entrepreneurs Academy national program was founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation and today serves thousands of students in communities across America. 

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Founded in 1924, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce is a member-centric, volunteer-based, non-profit organization of over 700 businesses committed to the economic and civic well being of the community. For more information or to become a member, visit