Winners of the 1st annual "Grow Your Own Business Challenge"

Announcing the Grand Prize Winners

Here are the winners of the 1st Annual "Grow Your Own Business Challenge."

L to R: Mike Dean, President Experian Consumer Direct, Aria, Ken Chaplin, Senior Vice President of Experian Consumer Direct
Individual Winner: Aria from PA
Front Row (L to R): Charles, Lucien, Alejandro, Nataniel;
Second Row: Warren Buffett with teachers Barbara & Michele
Winning Team: Deals on Wheels from NY
Idea: Shine So Bright Idea: Deals on Wheels

The finalists presented their ideas to Warren Buffett and a panel of judges on May 21st, 2012. The winning individual and the winning team members received a grand prize of $5,000 each.

Check out some photos of the Grand Prize Event below!

Winning Ideas:

Aria, PA | Idea: Shine So Bright
Grand Prize Winner "I came up with Shine So Bright when my family was making light up sweatshirts at the holidays. It took forever for my dad to finish soldering my sweatshirt. I wanted a quick and easy way to make a beautiful light up design on any piece of clothing. Shine So Bright will sell a kit that contains LEDs, colored conductive thread, switches and batteries through an online website. I will first find a manufacturer, have the kit packaged and then market and sell them on a website and at places like JoAnne Fabrics and Michaels. My customers will be people who want to have bright, cheery clothes that are easy and inexpensive. Shine so bright is a great family activity, and can be done in social groups such as Girl Scouts and parties."
Team Members: Charles, Lucien, Alejandro, and Nataniel, NY | Idea: Deals on Wheels
Grand Prize Winner (Team) "We found a need to raise money for our school due to budget cuts in education. Our group came up with a concept: a portable, easy to assemble, customizable school store on wheels. "Deals on Wheels" would sell school supplies as well as healthy snacks that are in high demand. We are targeting New York City schools in short term goals and the nation in long term goals. Our first target group is the principals and the Parent Associations. These customers would purchase the Deals on Wheels cart and merchandise to fill the portable store. Our secondary target group is the students and faculty that would buy the supplies that the principal and the Parent Association purchased from Deals on Wheels. After hearing about our business idea, our principal got excited. She allowed us to borrow a cart she had and agreed to invest in our business. She was our first investor!"

 


Finalists

Category: Individuals

Rachel, WI | Idea: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sheets
"Being a kid who is always rushed making my lunch in the morning, having the filling part of my sandwich pre- made would cut the time in half! I thought that using the fruit roll up idea and part of the Kraft Singles idea, I could make Peanut Butter and Jelly Sheets. These sheets are a layered combination of Peanut Butter and Jelly formed on a thin edible paper and individually wrapped in plastic. It solves many common problems such as soggy sandwiches, sticky fingers, rushed mornings, difficult jelly jars, and more. I will start by making a prototype of my product. Then I will find businesses that are willing to sell my Peanut Butter and Jelly Sheets such as Pic n Save and Sentry. Once I find at least one store to sell Peanut Butter and Jelly Sheets I will begin making them in bulk at home!"
Jacob, NE | Idea: Teddy Shreddy
"One of my chores at home is shredding papers. It is fun! One day my dad was talking about how he had a pile of old files he needed to take to a shredder somewhere but he kept forgetting to do it. He said that trucks come to businesses to pick up papers and someone needs to come to neighborhoods for that. I'll sell curbside shredding outside people's homes. They will bring out their stuff to me and I'll shred it in front of their eyes after they plug in my extension cord. Very handy and cheap! To get started, I will need a full sized three-wheel bike with a small trailer to carry a portable shredder, extension cords, and a good supply of large trash bags. I'll have small signs on the bike's basket that has the face of Teddy Roosevelt and the word Teddy Shreddy on it."
Aria, PA | Idea: Shine So Bright | GRAND PRIZE WINNER
"I came up with Shine So Bright when my family was making light up sweatshirts at the holidays. It took forever for my dad to finish soldering my sweatshirt. I wanted a quick and easy way to make a beautiful light up design on any piece of clothing. Shine So Bright will sell a kit that contains LEDs, colored conductive thread, switches and batteries through an online website. I will first find a manufacturer, have the kit packaged and then market and sell them on a website and at places like JoAnne Fabrics and Michaels. My customers will be people who want to have bright, cheery clothes that are easy and inexpensive. Shine so bright is a great family activity, and can be done in social groups such as Girl Scouts and parties."
Noelle, NY | Idea: Screen Savior
"My invention actually first came to me last Christmas when I was helping my parents decorate the house for the holiday. I thought that there should be an easier way to deal with those bundles! The Green Screen is a custom made, pre-lit window screen with LED designs powered by solar panels. To decorate, you would simply pop out your regular window screen and pop in the Screen Savior. Regular screens can be safely stored in the box the custom made screen came in. Then you would plug a small attachment into a rechargeable battery pack and you are ready to go! One way I could market Screen Savior would be as an exclusive in a well-established home improvement store such as Home Depot. Another way would be to advertise on infomercials and sell via the internet. I could then create the orders from my home."
Sarady, CA | Idea: Feel Your World | ONLINE VOTING ROUND WINNER
"My friend used to be an artist until he lost his vision. So, he decided since he couldn't see that he should give up on art. Feel Your World is an art kit for the visually impaired that would allow a blind person to express their view of the world even though they can't see. The kit comes with a canvas that is filled with braille and a pencil to flatten the dots while they draw. This helps them create a path to feel the outline of the drawing. The kit also comes with a pallet and a brush. The pallet has different colors that are written in braille so the artist can read the color they want. I would write out my business plan and send it to many non-profit organizations as possible to try to get funding for my business. Then I would start an art class at the Braille Institute to use the product in a trial run and see how well it works."

Category: Teams

Team Members: Charles, Lucien, Alejandro, and Nataniel, NY | Idea: Deals on Wheels | GRAND PRIZE WINNER (TEAM) | ONLINE VOTING ROUND WINNER
"We found a need to raise money for our school due to budget cuts in education. Our group came up with a concept: a portable, easy to assemble, customizable school store on wheels. "Deals on Wheels" would sell school supplies as well as healthy snacks that are in high demand. We are targeting New York City schools in short term goals and the nation in long term goals. Our first target group is the principals and the Parent Associations. These customers would purchase the Deals on Wheels cart and merchandise to fill the portable store. Our secondary target group is the students and faculty that would buy the supplies that the principal and the Parent Association purchased from Deals on Wheels. After hearing about our business idea, our principal got excited. She allowed us to borrow a cart she had and agreed to invest in our business. She was our first investor!"
Team Members: Diana, Lillian, Michael, and Amanda , CT | Idea: Safety Guard'in
"There was a fire in a town near us. The family was smart and rich and caring, so they had the money and resources for safety, but they made some safety mistakes. Three children and their grandparents woke up when the whole house was already on fire, and they all died. Our business is a safety club for families. We will sell online memberships for families to pledge to keep safety devices installed and current, get a certified inspection done, and then be listed as a member with a safe home. Before a parent sends their children to sleep over at someone's house, they could check if it's a safe home on the register. We also decided we would sell safety items to members and came up with new safety inventions we would create and add to the store. We will partner with the local firemen, police and other people and programs for fundraisers and donated services to help with safety awareness and also for scholarship memberships, for people who can't afford it."
Team Members: Anthony and Justin, WA | Idea: Super Clothes
"Super Clothes is a solar powered windbreaker created through nanotechnology. This jacket will charge personal electronic devices such as cell phones when they are placed inside the pocket and zipped. The fabric of the jacket has tiny solar panels that transforms sunlight into energy and is also water repellant. There would also be a built in heater and thermostat that can be adjusted by the user. No wires or connections are needed. We will market the idea to clothing manufacturers such as Columbia, Nike and Under Armour, who will have selling and marketing plans in place already. The end user would be anyone with a cell phone who uses their phone often or a portable computer."


Presenting the Grow Your Own Business Challenge "Individual" & "Team" Semifinalists:

Category: Individuals

Rachel, WI Marie, MD Rebecca, NC Noelle, NY Viraj, CT
Idea: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sheets
Idea: Kids Consult!
Idea: Brownie Points
Idea: Screen Savior
Idea: Nature Bonds
Aria, PA Sarady, CA Joseph, AZ Caroline, WI Jacob, NE
Idea: Shine So Bright Idea: Feel Your World Idea: Hold-off Idea: The Magic Cup Idea: Teddy Shreddy

Category: Teams

Team Name: Must Have, WI Team Name: Shoe Skins, NJ Team Name: Team Lundberg, WA
Team Members: Megan and Jorie Idea: Must Have Mustache Team Members: Willow and Halle Idea: Shoe Skins Team Members: Anthony and Justin Idea: Super Clothes
Team Name: C.L.A.N., NY Team Name: Safety Guard'in, CT
Team Members: Charles, Lucien,
Alejandro, and Nataniel Idea: C.L.A.N. Incorporated
Team Members: Diana, Lillian,
Michael, and Amanda Idea: Safety Guard'in


Contest Winners

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Individual winner, Aria, with Warren Buffett

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Winning team with their teachers and Mr. Buffett

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Finalists and winners with Warren Buffett

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Warren Buffett talking to the finalists

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Local Omaha finalist, Jake, with Mr. Buffett

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Team Super Clothes with Warren Buffett

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Noelle with Warren Buffett

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Team Safety Guardin' with Warren Buffett

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Rachel with Warren Buffett

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Sarady with Warren Buffett

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Celebration dinner at the Omaha Zoo Aquarium

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Students meet cartoon creator Andy Heyward


Grow Your Own Business Challenge: Glimpses of the Grand Prize Event : May 21, 2012

Individual Winner Aria with Warren Buffett Winning Team with their teachers and Warren Buffett Aria receives her grand prize "check"
Individual Winner Aria presenting her idea Team Deals on Wheels present their idea Sarady presents her idea to the judges
Andy Heyward, President, A Squared Entertainment Mike Dean, President, Experian Consumer Direct Warren Buffett
Norm Goldstein, CEO, BKFK Winning Team Finalists with their parents and teachers
Team Super Clothes with their parents Aria & Sarady Aria with her father and teacher
Noelle presents her idea to Warren Buffett Team Safety Guard'in with their family Noelle with her teacher and mom
Team "Deals on Wheels" with their parents and teachers Rachel with her mom and teacher Jacob with his parents
Sarady with her teacher and mom Jacob presents his idea to Warren Buffett Rachel presents her idea to Warren Buffett
Team "Deals on Wheels" present their idea to Warren Buffett Team "Super Clothes" present their idea to Warren Buffett Team "Safety Guard'in" present their idea to Warren Buffett
Aria presents her idea to Warren Buffett Sarady presents her idea to Warren Buffett Winning team with their teachers
Finalists with Mr. Buffett Winning Team Aria being interviewed
 
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