Celebrating Colorado’s Top Youth Entrepreneurs
Join us on Thursday, October 12 for this annual business competition and fundraiser that supports financial literacy education and experiential entrepreneurship learning opportunities that reach nearly 70,000 youth every year!
This annual gala is the culmination of Colorado’s largest annual competition for young business owners (ages 6-21). A premier event, Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars recognizes the incredible achievements of young entrepreneurs operating real businesses with real customers and real profits.
Each year we scour the state for creative and motivated entrepreneurs. An independent judging panel evaluates the applications based on the execution of their business plans. The judges select one winner and two finalists in each age category who are announced at the event.
Finalists and winners receive a check to help them further their business goals. Additionally, winners receive the special opportunity to be paired with a Presenting Mentor, a distinguished entrepreneur or businessperson dedicated to furthering the success of tomorrow’s business leaders.
Contributions to Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars benefit the educational programs of Young Americans Center for Financial Education.
Sponsorships are available for the 2023 event!
2023 PRESENTING MENTORS:
These business leaders will mentor the three winning youth entrepreneurs for a full year, offering insights and helping them grow their businesses. This group of kids is ready!
2023 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars Business Competition Sponsors
Business Applications – Apply and WIN!
Are you looking to take your business to the next level? YouthBiz Star winners can earn up to $5,000! Applications for the 2023 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars Competition have closed, but check back in the spring for the 2024 application.
Highlights from 2022 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars
- Randy Wells, Former Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets
- Mark Cordova, Founder/President, Centennial Bolt
- Leigh Sullivan, Development Director, Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary
These business leaders mentored the three winning young entrepreneurs for a full year, offering insights and helping them grow their businesses. This group of kids is ready!
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. Past Mentors include:
- Michael Barkin, Vail Resorts
- Matthew Burkett, The Flyfisher Group
- Linda Enstrom, Enstrom’s Candy
- John Hickenlooper, Governor
- Traci Lounsbury, Workplace ELEMENTS
- John Malone, Liberty Media
- Curt Richardson, OtterBox
- Maureen Tarrant Fitzgerald, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s
- Kent Thiry, DaVita
Congratulations to the 2022 winners and finalists:
Congratulations to the 2022 Rising Business Award winner:
This year’s Rising Business Award winner is Willa Wang, owner of Willa Miette Studio.
Willa started drawing pictures of wildlife after a trip to South Africa, and received encouragement from teachers to use her art in different applications. After being disqualified from volunteering for various wildlife organizations due to her age, Willa decided to take matters into her own hands by creating her business, Willa Miette Studios, where she combines her love for art with her love for wildlife.
Willa applies her beautiful artwork to T-Shirts and tote bags. Staff judges were floored by everything Willa has accomplished in her social enterprise.
From using all sustainable materials to donating a portion of her profits to wildlife and environmental conservation organizations, Willa Miette Studios has accomplished total brand alignment in a very short time.