Eighth grader to compete in national entrepreneurial event

Toly Chinn, an eighth grade student among the latest class of participants in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Grand Junction, was selected to compete in a national event for young entrepreneurs.

Chinn won a local pitch competition judged by an investor panel to advance to the YEA Saunders Scholars National Competition set for May 3 at the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y.

Chinn, an eighth grader at Redlands Middle School, developed Colorado Bike Armor, a wrap that protects bicycle frames from damage from weather and sharp objects.

Chinn will pitch the venture before a panel of judges and an audience during a “Shark Tank” style competition. YEA participants from across the United States will vie for up to $30,000 in college scholarships and business prize packages.

Organized in Grand Junction by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the YEA program takes middle and high school students through the process of coming up with ideas for new products and services, developing business plans, pitching their ventures to investors for startup funding and launching their own companies.