YEA! students pitch for funds, share $7,000 to advance ideas

YEATwenty-one students participating in the inaugural Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) organized by the Knoxville Chamber shared $7,000 in funds to advance their business ideas after pitching them to an investor panel on Tuesday night.

The largest investment – $1,000 – went to Eco-Rust, a company created by Campbell County student Noah Smith. The panel of investors also selected him to represent the community at the YEA! national pitch event, known as the Saunders Scholars Competition. It will be held in May in Rochester, NY.

As noted in a November post on, the 21 students committed to participating in 30 weekly classes. Most are between 13 and 14 years of age, but some are younger and a few like Smith slightly older.

We’ll have more to say about the event tomorrow. For now, you can learn more by reading the Chamber’s news release (YEA! Investor Panel Release).




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