Winners of the 3rd Annual "Grow Your Own Business Challenge"

Congratulations!

We're excited to present you with the GRAND PRIZE WINNERS of the 3rd annual Secret Millionaires Club "Grow Your Own Business Challenge"! The grand prize winning team members and winning individual each received $5,000, and the mentors/teachers of the grand prize winners each received $1,000.

All finalists presented their ideas to Warren Buffett and a panel of judges at a Grand Prize Event in Omaha on May 19th, 2014. Mr. Buffett also gave all the finalists 10 shares of Berkshire Hathaway B
Stock!

Grand Prize Winner Grand Prize Winners
Individual Grand Prize Winner Jake with his mentor Tanya Hamilton
Idea: Beaux Up
Team Grand Prize Winners: Krystal, Kei and Allyson
Idea: WiseGuide

wiseguide team image

Team Members:
Krystal (12), Allyson (10), Kei (13) from Washington

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Winning Team Entry: WiseGuide
WiseGuide is an online community that connects people of all ages. The problem today is that kids are spending less time with their grandparents and the elderly. We wanted to share the opportunity to connect with grandparents and the elderly no matter the distance. From personal experience, we know that the elderly have many things to teach, and we also have things that we can share. WiseGuide users can post stories, how-to's, quotes, video's, advice and more. People can also answer questions or requests that have been posted. Our main goal is to help people, while money making is secondary.

In addition to sharing how-to's and instructions, you can post inspiring stories from your life that you want to share with everyone. Many people of different age groups have great life-experiences and lessons so it is important that everyone is included in WiseGuide. WiseGuide would also help the family. If you have relatives living far away, WiseGuide will allow you to connect with them, for example sharing a tasty recipe that you found or something you learned at school.


James "Jake" (14) from North Carolina

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Winning Individual Entry: Beaux Up
The bow tie is coming back in a big way but young men don't want to look like their dads when wearing one. We want to mix it up a little with cool patterns, unusual fabrics and a personal expression of who we are. Beaux Up is a new twist on the classic self-tie bow tie allowing a completely customizable experience for the wearer - a patent pending clip that separates the bow tie into two halves. The independent halves can then be clipped onto ANY other bow tie half in the collection.

Guys can buy their first "whole" tie for $24.00 and then exponentially increase their collections and fashion options by buying half of a tie at the time for only $10.00. I will take samples to independently owned boutiques, haberdasheries, and college stores in the Southeast and offer to let them carry the product on a consignment basis first. This will also help me gauge interest and improve the product. We want everyone to tie their own bow ties and will include a QR code on every tag that links to a teaching video of my sister and her friends teaching guys how to tie a bow tie.


Grand Prize Event in Omaha on May 19th, 2014



Finalists of the 3rd Annual "Grow Your Own Business Challenge"!

We’re thrilled to announce the Individual and Team Finalists of the 3rd Annual “Grow Your Own Business Challenge"! Each year, kids and their friends and families get to vote for their favorite contestants before the final judging event. This year, we received over 63,000 votes!

The individual winner of the the online voting round is Jake with his business idea "Beaux Up". The team winners of the online voting round are Krystal, Allyson and Kei with the business idea "WiseGuide". Congratulations! Your online votes count as 20% of the overall vote.

Team finalists

Business Idea: Helping Fields

helping fieds team image

Team Members:
Aiden (9), Joel (8), Logan (8) from North Carolina

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Our business, Helping Fields, hopes to solve two problems. The first problem we hope to solve is to create a place where people in our community who do not have their own land can grow a garden. We think that it is important for people to grow fresh, healthy food and be able to harvest their own fruit, vegetables and spices. We hope people will save money by growing their own food and become healthier. To do this, we got permission from our principal to use some of the land at our school for a community garden. People who want to have a garden will need to sign up and pay a fee to join our community garden. That money will cover the cost of tools and supplies that we need to start the garden.

The second problem we hope to solve is for our school's backpack program. We learned that many students families at our school struggle with money. We also learned that there are students in our school whose families do not have enough food to feed them over the weekend, so the backpack program sends those students home with backpacks of food so they have enough to eat. Even though the backpacks give those students food to eat, the backpacks do not have fresh, healthy foods, like what would be grown in our garden. Our business is different from other businesses because we use our Helping Fields to help kids at our school who need healthy food.

Business Idea: Munch Poop Production

munch poop porduction team image

Team Members:
Theodore "Theo" (9), Nathaniel (11) from Massachusetts

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We want to get kids and their families to compost food scraps at home. We want kids to start learning about composting so that they can get in the habit of putting food scraps into a compost bin instead of a trashcan. We will introduce kids to backyard composting and vermicomposting, which is composting with worms, with our Munch Poop Kit. People will want to buy our Munch Poop Kit- this is how we make money- because we are doing something good for the earth and they want to support us. The person who buys the kit will get a comic book about composting that a kid can write and draw in; a finger knit worm that a kid can make; and a deck of playing cards that a kid can draw compost organisms on - all three things in the kit will have the kid's work!

We're different from other businesses because right from the start, we involve four groups- local public school, local farm, local business, and the local government (town's Solid Waste and Recycling Department). Our business will work with people in the community to get them excited about composting food scraps and make them feel good that they're doing their part to help with climate change.

Business Idea: WiseGuide

wiseguide team image

Team Members:
Krystal (12), Allyson (10), Kei (13) from Washington

Watch Video
WiseGuide is an online community that connects people of all ages. The problem today is that kids are spending less time with their grandparents and the elderly. We wanted to share the opportunity to connect with grandparents and the elderly no matter the distance. From personal experience, we know that the elderly have many things to teach, and we also have things that we can share. WiseGuide users can post stories, how-to's, quotes, video's, advice and more. People can also answer questions or requests that have been posted. Our main goal is to help people, while money making is secondary.

In addition to sharing how-to's and instructions, you can post inspiring stories from your life that you want to share with everyone. Many people of different age groups have great life-experiences and lessons so it is important that everyone is included in WiseGuide. WiseGuide would also help the family. If you have relatives living far away, WiseGuide will allow you to connect with them, for example sharing a tasty recipe that you found or something you learned at school.

Individual Finalists

Business Idea: Backpack Buddy

alexis

Alexis (14) from New Jersey

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Backpack Buddy is a website that will revolutionize how students learn. The main goal for Backpack Buddy is to create a cultural exchange between schools so that children from all over the world can learn something from other children and students in developing countries can have the same academic opportunities that we, students in America have. Backpack Buddy also strives to relieve students from the daily stress of forgetting homework at school and having to make it up or being absent and having to finish up that homework in addition to the homework they will receive that day. Students will simply sign onto the website, review their homework for that night, see their lesson plan, and create or practice on worksheets and online flashcards for a certain topic. Further, teachers will have access to the site and can make a private or public group with their classes so that they can post the homework and lesson plans for that day.

Schools signed up with Backpack Buddy will be able to partner up with other schools in developing countries so that these lesson plans can be shared between the schools and the students from schools will be able to learn from other students in other countries. A school in New Jersey could partner up on Backpack Buddy with a school in Ghana. Once this partnership is established, the schools can privately share lesson plans and worksheets for each subject and grade level at any time.

Business Idea: Beaux Up

alt

James "Jake" (14) from North Carolina

Watch Video
The bow tie is coming back in a big way but young men don't want to look like their dads when wearing one. We want to mix it up a little with cool patterns, unusual fabrics and a personal expression of who we are. Beaux Up is a new twist on the classic self-tie bow tie allowing a completely customizable experience for the wearer - a patent pending clip that separates the bow tie into two halves. The independent halves can then be clipped onto ANY other bow tie half in the collection.

Guys can buy their first "whole" tie for $24.00 and then exponentially increase their collections and fashion options by buying half of a tie at the time for only $10.00. I will take samples to independently owned boutiques, haberdasheries, and college stores in the Southeast and offer to let them carry the product on a consignment basis first. This will also help me gauge interest and improve the product. We want everyone to tie their own bow ties and will include a QR code on every tag that links to a teaching video of my sister and her friends teaching guys how to tie a bow tie.

Business Idea: Becker Industries - GoGo Bike

grant

Grant (9) from New York

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My business is making GoGo chairs which are wheelchairs that have a bike attachment that fits any standard wheelchair. This would enable people with physical disabilities to still get exercise and have fun, in a more "hip" fashion. We will make money by selling this chair to rehab centers, doctors offices and health clubs. We would also give these away to kids who can't afford to buy one.

I believe that there is a huge market for my Gogo chairs; elderly, handicapped and disabled veterans. I know that there are already recumbent bikes and and wheelchair bikes already on the market. What is unique about my invention is that the bike is actually a separate attachment that will attach to most non-motorized wheelchairs. This reduces the cost of the product and also increases its ability to be easily transported. I will advertise in local newspapers. I will ride it around my hometown of Pleasantville with an advertisement on the Gogo chair. I will put up signs and posters and donate my time in a rehab facility with senior Citizens and pass the word to the professionals that work there. I will also go to Veterans hospitals and talk about my invention.

Business Idea: Crafts-2-Go!

kyna

Kyna (11) from Texas

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Currently, rubber band crafts are the latest craft that is popular with teens and pre-teens. Teens and pre-teens also use mobile devices frequently, such as the iPad and iPhone. My goal is to combine the two together to create a business and benefit from the craft craze.

My business will make an app for mobile devices that will let you take a picture of your hand, virtually create a craft (such as a rubber band bracelet or friendship bracelet) and to see what it would look like on your hand. While making it virtually, they would get the step-by-step instructions and practice on how to make it in real life. The free version would include some crafts, such as the friendship bracelet, with in app purchases to add craft types, such as rubber bands. They can also share their creations with friends. The free version is to get people hooked, the in-app purchases are to make money and the sharing is to promote the app. The free version could also include banner ads as another way to make money, but I want these to be turned off in settings as they can be annoying. The in-app purchases would add craft types or designs, so the app can be extended to new types of crafts (such as rings) or more complex designs.

Business Idea: Concentration Bugs

miaMia (9) from Indiana

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My company will sell cute little knitted bugs that help kids concentrate on their assignments. The bugs will sit on the table in front of the kids while they are studying. The kids then pretend that the bugs help them concentrate. I will sell my product to parents that want to help their kids study in a fun way. I will target parents who have kids in school in any grade, but I will focus on parents with kids in grades that have just introduced homework. I also think college students would like them too if the bugs have college jerseys on.

There will also be a short book that explains the story of the bugs. The book will be included with the bugs. The story shows how the bugs help kids study. The bugs are like friendly pets to the kids. Each bug has special concentration powers. They sit on the table with the kids while they study and give the kids power to concentrate. Sometimes the bugs lose their powers, so the kids will have to keep their bug on their homework overnight to recharge their power.

Presenting Your Semifinalists!

We’re thrilled to announce the Individual and Team Semifinalists of the 3rd Annual “Grow Your Own Business Challenge"! We received thousands of wonderful entries from amazing kids all over the country. Judging was definitely no easy feat! We commend each and every one of the kids who entered—along with the parents, teachers, and volunteers who helped motivate them. Kids, keep coming up with great new ideas—our judges were truly impressed!

Ten individuals and five teams rose to the top!

Team Semifinalists

helping fieds team image

Team Members:
Aiden (9), Joel (8), Logan (8) from North Carolina
Business Idea:
Helping Fields

munch poop porduction team image

Team Members:
Theodore "Theo" (9), Nathaniel (11) from Massachusetts
Business Idea:
Munch Poop Production

not hot pot team image

Team Members:
Amelia (8), Lucia "Luci" (8) from New York
Business Idea:
Not Hot Pot

the oracle team image

Team Members:
Lillie "Brianna" (13), Alyssa (13) from Texas
Business Idea:
The Oracle

wiseguide team image

Team Members:
Krystal (12), Allyson (10), Kei (13) from Washington
Business Idea:
WiseGuide

Individual Semifinalists

alexis

Alexis (14) from New Jersey
Business Idea:
Backpack Buddy

jake

James "Jake" (14) from North Carolina
Business Idea:
Beaux Up

grant

Grant (9) from New York
Business Idea:
Becker Industries - GoGo Bike

molly

Molly (10) from Kentucky
Business Idea:
Choosy Clothes

mia

Mia (9) from Indiana
Business Idea:
Concentration Bugs

kyna

Kyna (11) from Texas
Business Idea:
Crafts-2-Go!

kami

Kamryn "Kami" (11) from California
Business Idea:
Kami Kakes

isabella

Isabella (14) from Mississippi
Business Idea:
PicPicQuiz

aniruddha

Aniruddha "Ani" (12) from Georgia
Business Idea:
The Four E's: Education, Exercise, Eating & Environment

Alexandra

Alexandra "Ally" (14) from New Jersey
Business Idea:
Zip Kicks Inc.

 
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