Young entrepreneur awarded for efforts

:James Stucky, chief executive officer of Bulldog Protective Gear, participates in a competition in which students enrolled in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy pitch their startup ventures to a panel of investors. Stucky, a sixth-grader at Caprock Academy in Grand Junction, won the event and $2,000 in funding for his business. He also qualified to compete in a national competition scheduled for Rochester, N.Y. in August. (Photo courtesy Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce)

A sixth-grader who launched a business to offer protective gear is the latest winner in an annual competition for young entrepreneurs.

James Stucky, chief executive officer of Bulldog Protective Gear, was selected from among the students enrolled in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy who pitched their ventures to a panel of investors.

Stucky received $2,000 in funding for his startup and qualified to participate in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Saunders Scholars competition scheduled for August in Rochester, N.Y.

Coordinated by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy turns middle and high school students into the chief executive officers of startup ventures.

Over the course of the program, students come up with new products and services, write business plans, pitch their ideas to investors and develop their brands. By the end of the program, they oversee fully functioning enterprises they can continue to operate.

Stucky, a sixth grader at Caprock Academy in Grand Junction, said he came up with the idea for Bulldog Protective Gear after he and his friends were hurt bicycling and skiing.

In addition to Stucky, 13 students received funding for their startups:

  • Elizabeth Daggers, a sixth-grader at Fruita Middle School, $885 for Allegro Transport.
  • Grayson Espinoza, a sixth-grader at Bookcliff Middle School, $600 for Impact Games.
  • Keaghan Hays, a sixth-grader at Redlands Middle School, $600 for Scravel.
  • Irelyn Kutzschebauch, a sixth-grader at Caprock Academy, $600 for Kenna’s Story Time.
  • Keid Medrano, a sixth-grader at West Middle School, $540 for GEAR Labs.
  • Branson Miller, a junior at Fruita Monument High School, $478 for Miller Charter Supporter.
  • Luke Neville, a freshman at Caprock Academy, $800 for Luke’s Ts.
  • Myka Neville, an eighth-grader at Caprock Academy, $854 for Across the Street Colorado Candy.
  • Quinn Riddle-Brosig, an eighth-grader at West Middle School, $600 for Custom 3D.
  • Corbin Rundquist, a seventh-grader at Caprock Academy, $243 for Chess Plus.
  • Brielle Sorensen, a seventh-grader at Redlands Middle School, $500 for Water Bottle Buddy.
  • Ethan Tregilgas, an eighth-grader at Holy Family Catholic School, $800 for Zanadu Apparel,
  • Russell White, a sixth-grader at East Middle School,  $500 for Furniture for Fun Parks.

For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, visit the website located at  www.gjchamber.org/young-entrepreneurs-academy-yea.