Finalists of the 4th Annual "Grow Your Own Business Challenge"!

We’re thrilled to announce the Individual and Team Finalists of the 4th 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 46,000 votes!

The individual winner of the the online voting round is Alisa with her business idea "Hand Me Down". The team winners of the online voting round are Emily and Bryn with the business idea "Keep Track Sticky Back". Congratulations! Your online votes count as 20% of the overall vote.

Team Finalists

Business Idea: Keep Track Sticky Back

keep track sticky back team image

Team Members:
Emily (12), Bryn (11) from Nebraska
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Our business is all about helping people organize their everyday items! The way that The Keep Track Sticky Back works is that the plastic pouches are attached to a varying color of fabric or plastic backing. Than this is hot glued on to adhesive paper, which on the back is sticky, so you can stick it on to nearly anything you please! Each plastic pouch has its very own individual magnetic snap button to connect the flap above the pouch to the main pouch. This protects the internal contents of the pouch to keep from falling out. On each Keep Track Sticky Back, there are multiple pouches in various sizes covering the area of The Keep Track Sticky Back. This helps for the different needs for each pouch; for example, a tall, skinny pouch would be possibly used for pencils, where as a smaller pouch that is wider would be possibly used for crayons.

The Keep Track Sticky Back comes in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and is made out of a rubbery type of plastic that is flexible, portable, and reusable. We believe that our product fills most organizing needs. Competitors’ products do not come in different colors to make it fun for kids to organize! Adults will love our products because of the way it neatly organizes their items with the convenience of a sticky back! Everyone will love our product, The Keep Track Sticky Back!

Business Idea: Team-Up Techies

team-up techies team image

Team Members:
Tony (12), Jalyn (10), Jacob (12), Saleem (11) from Georgia
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Team-Up Techies is a website/app that will allow youth ages 5-17 from all over the world to collaborate on projects. You can start a project and search for site users with the abilities that you need for your project and invite them to join. If you don't currently have an idea for your own project, you can search for a project that needs your skills. Once you choose to join and the project manager approves you, you're on your way to becoming an innovator! On the private project page, you can see more details about the project. You can see all of the usernames of others working on the project, and you have access to all project documents, including images, videos, pdfs, and audio. There is also an area on the project page to host a group meeting. The project calendar keeps you abreast of deadlines and the data log reminds you of what was last uploaded, discussed, or done and by whom. When your project is completed, the site will guide you through the next steps, such as obtaining a provisional or full patent, or obtaining the necessary mentors to take your project to the next level.

Since the site is designed specifically for youth, it has enhanced safety features. Users also earn "badges" on the site for different accomplishments, like - Started Your First Project. Users can rate other users' site presence with a star rating system, so others know if they would like to work with someone. Also, if someone is inappropriate, they can be flagged. Through Team-Up Techies, users can collaborate to build fun apps and games, robot projects, music projects, web shows, WHATEVER - they are limited only by their imagination. Team-Up Techies takes teamwork and project based learning to the next level by putting youth completely in charge in a safe, kid-friendly environment.

Business Idea: The Eggpreneur Kit

the eggpreneur kit team image

Team Members:
Simeon (12), Lilian (9) from Missour
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E E Farm is a website setup to better educate people on what life is like on our farm. Other kids don’t have the opportunity to be around farm animals so we bring the farm to them in three ways. First, the website has pictures, videos, and stories of our experiences on the farm. Secondly, this website also has a blog for open conversation about raising animals and growing food. People can ask us and other farm kids questions so that they can better understand what life on the farm is like. This is an opportunity for honest conversation and myth busting.

Caring for animals is a big part of our life and it can be part of others' lives too with the Eggpreneur Kit which can be found in our online store, the third part of the website. The Eggpreneur Kit is designed mainly for people who live in towns and cities who are interested in experiencing a small taste of what farm life is like with chickens. It is also suitable for people in the country who want just a small flock. They will have the opportunity to start their own business of selling eggs and a side business of selling manure as fertilizer if they choose. The kit includes everything that a person will need to start their egg business. It has six young brown egg laying hens, a chicken coop, a feeder, a waterer, and a 50 pound bag of feed that should be enough to feed the chickens for a little over a month. This kit is designed so that the customer can start selling eggs and making money the first week! The kit costs only $200 and offers an immediate return on the investment.

Individual Finalists

Business Idea: Beyond the Books


Miroslav (14) from New Jersey
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Beyond the Books is a website that will act as an educational haven for extracurricular learners and students looking for supplement. There are many people, including myself, who are interested in courses and subjects that are not offered by the school they attend. For example, if one is interested in learning Arabic and their school does not offer that course, joining Beyond the Books could help this person by providing a free environment in which they collaborate with other thinkers and share the knowledge they've gained. The first step for the user would be starting a class labeled "Arabic.” He/she could choose to own the sole power to edit while still letting others view and comment on their notes, make the class public and allow anyone to edit, or allow a select group of people to edit. They would submit their notes into that class. Eventually, the admin will compile a comprehensive study guide. In order to optimize organization, admins of classes can combine. For example, the admin of "Robotics" can reach out to the admin of "Lego Robotics" and ask for them to be a subset of their class. There will also be a messaging service to better the collaboration between users.

The 3 classes who have submitted the most content will be featured on the front page each month. This is to spark competition and inspire more content to be made. Users that contribute the most content will be awarded badges that are displayed next to their username as an incentive to contribute more. In conclusion, I hope to create an expansive and free educational resource that anyone with access to a computer can use.

Business Idea: Talent Zoo


Ray (12) from Indiana
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My business is all about helping people grow their talent(s) at a fraction of time and cost compared with hiring a professional coach/teacher. Talent Zoo is a unique platform that matches talent developers (buyers) who want to tune up their talents/skills on a specific ad hoc subject within a relatively short time period, and talent vendors (sellers) who are willing to offer a flexible time schedule and lower cost without the requirement of a long term commitment. People who might be very interested in, say, saxophone, could go to our business's website and look for people who teach saxophone lessons or are very good at playing saxophone that live near them. My company’s platform will have information and specialists with all talents, no matter how unusual they are.

My company will have three major sources of revenues. First, talent vendors/sellers will have to pay a monthly listing fee. If they want to be listed in a better position, then they will have to pay an additional fee to be shown in the Sponsored Search Column. Second, talent vendors/sellers will also pay an ad-display charge for ad spaces on my Talent Zoo homepage to better promote themselves, and other outside companies can also pay me to post ads on my website/app. Third, once a vendor and a buyer agree on a short-term contract on a talent service which will go through my Talent Zoo platform, my company will charge 10% of the total contract fee for revenue.

Business Idea: Hand Me Down


Alisa (14) from New Jersey
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“Hand Me Down” is a unique social network designed especially to empower school age girls by sharing their knowledge, experiences and even their “hand me downs” with one another. This business will involve creating a website and an app that will help girls around the world to pass on not only old items but more importantly knowledge such as mentorship, education, and social development. “Hand Me Down” will allow girls from around the world to communicate with one another to share what has given them success with their “little sister.” The goal of my business is to promote girl empowerment. In some countries, women are often not treated equal to men. In other countries, even here in the U.S., traditional gender roles may not encourage girls to prioritize higher education, difficult coursework, and high-powered careers. They just may need someone to lead the way or give them a helping hand.

I believe this site will be unique and create a large global audience of girls. My business model will be to sell advertising on the site. I believe that advertisers will be willing to pay a premium to reach girls all over the world. As a result, I think I will be able to charge higher advertising rates than are charged by general sites such as Facebook. Many of these girls will grow up to be Moms that make most of the household’s buying decision. My site will allow advertisers to reach to this important audience at an early stage.

Business Idea: SteelSole


Ethan (12) from Florida
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SteelSole are puncture resistant insoles that you can slip into your everyday casual footwear to help prevent against accidental puncture wounds. SteelSole meets a need that is currently not being served in the marketplace. While you may find steel toe boots, they can be costly, heavy, uncomfortable, hard on your joints, not easy to find (usually a specialty store item), and steel toe boots don’t protect the sole of your feet where you are most vulnerable to puncture wounds from ground debris.

On the other hand, SteelSole are lightweight, flexible, will be available everywhere in a wide variety of sizes at a very affordable price, they won’t hurt your joints, and all you have to do to get full protection is simply slip SteelSole into any pair of shoes and they quickly turn into protective footwear. SteelSole is ASTM certified.

SteelSole will make money by selling to the general public.

Business Idea: ISC - the Internet Safety Crew


Jack (13) from New Jersey
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This business is the Internet Safety Crew, or the ISC, toy line. These are stuffed toys that help kids stay safe online. The ISC crew is Inky the Squid, Spot the Dog. Meow the Cat, and Peanut the Elephant. The toy would have a bluetooth adapter like the one for a bluetooth mouse that would warn kids if the site they came across or the link they clicked on was dangerous in some way. The only way to bypass this is for a parent to type in the password, which unblocks the site and it won't be blocked again.

But, why would this make money? Very simple. The toys have something that parents and kids want. Parents will buy it because of its features. The toy is not only a stuffed animal that kids would love because of its adorable demeanor, and use it near the computer to help them learn to use the internet. Plus, if something goes wrong, and they block a site that is completely safe, the parent can easily disable it, and the buddy with them will remember.

This business will make money by selling the toys, then using the money earned to produce new characters and possibly branch out into new topics, such as learning math or ILA.