Lynchburg's Young Entrepreneurs Participate in Their Own Version of Shark Tank Show

Lynchburg, VA - Ever seen the show Shark Tank on ABC? Well a similar event took place Wednesday night in Lynchburg.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy hosted the event at CVCC.

The Academy is a nine month program, made up of 16 kids, ages 11 to 17 that have all started their own company.

These kids, some not even old enough to drive, made their pitch to investors Wednesday to give them the funding they need to get their start-up, up and running.

"We've estimated costs in case it fluctuates but here are our actual costs 75 and 18 dollars" said one Entrepreneur presenter.

Like a scene from the hit show Shark Tank, 16 kids made their pitches to a panel of five potential investors.

In all, 10 different companies were vying for funding.

There were companies selling cupcakes, bracelets, beef jerky, and beanies. And all these startups are the products of students involved in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

"We have always known that a really huge potential in Lynchburg was to grow our own" said Marjette Upshur, Lynchburg's Director of Economic Development.

Upshur's excited; the future of the city's economy she says lies within the creativity and motivation she sees among these future CEOs.

"This has really been a very, very exciting night, and very well done in terms of what the students had to prepare to get to this place tonight" said Upshur.

Preparations included a detailed business plan breaking down the company's existing and potential income, a nerve-wrecking presentation to the board of investors, and samples.

And when it was all said and done, each company walked away a winner.

In the end, the investors, all a part of the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, distributed more than $5,000 among the companies.

One, Nicks Sticks, a beef jerky company started by a 13-year-old, was chosen to represent the group at the national Young Entrepreneurs Competition in Rochester, New York, this month.