Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars

Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars 2017

Presented by 

Make plans to join us on Thursday, October 5, 2017 for this beloved event which highlights the important work Young Americans is doing to bring financial literacy education and experiential entrepreneurship learning opportunities to over 61,000 youth every year.

Seawell Grand Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Reception and Young Entrepreneur Trade Show 5:30pm

Dinner & Awards Ceremony 6:30pm-8:30pm


YouthBiz Stars Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities start at just $2,500!  For more information, download our sponsorship brochure here or contact Betsy Sklar, Vice President of Development: or 303-320-3245.

Business Applications – Apply and WIN!

Are you looking to take your business to the next level?  YouthBiz Star winners can earn up to $1,000!  Click here for more information.

Distinguished YouthBiz Stars Mentors

Young Americans is honored to have the support of many esteemed leaders of the business community who recognize and encourage the next generation of business owners in Colorado through this event.  This year’s mentors are:

  • Michael Barkin, Vail Resorts
  • Matthew Burkett, The Flyfisher Group and The Burkett Family Foundation
  • Traci Lounsbury, Elements

Past Mentors include:

2012 Winner Lyla Padden with her mentor Kent Thiry

  • Kent Thiry, DaVita
  • John Hickenlooper, Governor
  • Colleen Abdoulah, WOW
  • Maureen Tarrant Fitzgerald, Presbyterian St. Lukes
  • Katherine Ott, SlimGenics
  • Curt Richardson, OtterBox
  • John Malone, Liberty Media
  • Justin Gold, Justin’s Nut Butter
  • Linda Enstrom, Enstrom’s Candy

Interested in doing your part to give back and grow Colorado’s business talent?  Learn more about becoming a Presenting Mentor here.  Thank you for your interest in inspiring the next generation!


Congratulations 2016 YouthBiz Stars!

Young Americans Center for Financial Education hosted the 2016 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars youth business competition awards ceremony and gala on September 22.  This event, sponsored by CoBank, marked 15 years of recognizing outstanding young entrepreneurs in Colorado.

10-year-old Jack Bonneau, Founder and CEO of Jack's Stands and Marketplaces

10-year-old Jack Bonneau, Founder and CEO of Jack’s Stands and Marketplaces

Three winning businesses received $1,000 and a pairing with a Presenting Mentor, a leader from the Denver business community committed to encouraging the next generation of business owners in Colorado.  Broomfield resident Jack Bonneau, 10-year-old Founder and CEO of Jack’s Stands and Marketplaces, won the 6-11 Age Category with his business that franchises lemonade stands to teach other young people the basics of entrepreneurship.  He will be mentored by Reggie Rivers, President of Corporate Kickoff and Former Denver Bronco.

In the 12-15 Age Category, the winner was 15-year-old Kayla Wolins, from Conifer, recognized for her non-profit Cards for Caring which donates all profits to the Wild Animal Sanctuary.  Heidi Ganalh, Founder of Camp Bow Wow will provide advice to Kayla over the coming year.

Hannah Isenhart, the 17-year-old business owner of Hanimals Greeting Cards, won the 16-21 Age Category.  Hannah sells cards and teaches photography and entrepreneurship to young people in the Boulder area.  She will be paired with Jeff Ingrum, owner of Skate City.

Click on the links below to learn more about these incredible entrepreneurs:

Two finalists in each age category were also recognized:

6-11 years old:

12-15 years old:

16-21 years old:

2017 YouthBiz Stars Business Competition Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor


Pinnacle Benefactors

Daniels Fund
Great West Financial
Xcel Energy

Presenting Mentors

Burkett Family Foundation
Michael Barkin
The Flyfisher Group

Michael Barkin, Vail Resorts

Matthew Burkett, The Flyfisher Group and The Burkett Family Foundation

Traci Lounsbury, Workplace Elements

Mezzanine Partners

AAA Colorado

Alpine Bank

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Cambiar Investors, LLC

Linda and Don Childears

CoBiz Financial

Ibex Investors

Janus Henderson Investors


MidWestOne Bank

Robert and Judi Newman

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL

VectraBank Colorado

University of Denver

David and Pam Wolf

Foundation Circle Members

Bank of Colorado

Bank of the West

BKD CPAs & Advisors

Colorado Lending Source

Colorado Community College System


Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

The DaVita Village

Essential Investment Partners, LLC

Patrick & Sara Finney of FINN Real Estate

FirstBank Holding Company of Colorado

GE Johnson Construction Company

The IMA Financial Group

JCR Capital

Koelbel & Co.

The Rifkin Foundation

Riveron Consulting

Scott and Christine Simon

U.S. Bank