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SUBMITTED PHOTO - Participants in this year's Young Entrepreneurs Academy, including eventual winner TJ Barth (third from left), give a thumbs up before the night's results were announced on April 8.


The Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce gave a big cheer to some of the best young businesses around back on April 8.

The chamber hosted its second annual Young Entrepreneurs Academy Investor Panel Presentation — known as YEA! — on April 8 at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus. The evening included presentations by young entrepreneurs from seven Beaverton middle and high schools to a panel of local investors aiming to help them obtain funding for their new businesses.

The winner of this year’s investor panel event was Southridge High’s TJ Barth, 18, and his Clear Drop Window Cleaning company, though many of the fledgling businesses also showed off their chops impressively.

“As a judge, I was impressed by the quality of the business plans and the presentations. The students clearly approached the challenge seriously and each put their best foot forward,” said Kirk Mandlin, Managing Director - Complex Manager for Wells Fargo. “The panel had a difficult time deciding which projects to fund, and especially which project to endorse to move on to the regional competition.”

In the end, however, it was Barth’s Beaverton business that stood out most to the judges’ panel.

“We were in awe of the feasibility of his idea, the thoroughness of his business plan, and quality of his presentation,” Mandlin said. “Not only did we fully fund his concept, we endorsed him to move on to the regional competition. We certainly wish him good luck and hope he is successful in the competition and in his business venture.”

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a year-long program that teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. The Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce brought YEA! to Oregon and guides middle and high school students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of a full academic year.

YEA! aims to help students brainstorm business ideas, write business plans, interact with business professionals, pitch their business plan to potential investors, obtain funding, legally register their businesses, participate in trade shows, and launch their own businesses or social movements.

For more information, go to the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce website at beaverton.org, call 503-644-0123, fax 503-526-0349, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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