YEM “Fish Tank” offers a pitch competition for young people in front of entrepreneur judges


The Ithaca Youth Entrepreneurship Marketplace and Mentoring Program is hosting its first-ever “Shark Tank-Style” pitch competition this Saturday afternoon in front of a jury of local entrepreneurs, and cash prizes of up to to $500 are awarded to the best business ideas.

Saturday’s judging panel includes Dan Smalls (Dan Smalls Presents), Via Carpenter (Via’s Cookies), Kevin Sullivan (Luna Inspired Street Food, Purity Ice Cream, etc.) and Elisa Miller-Out (Chloe Capital).

“We’re trying to give kids a real pitching experience with great panel judges and real money for their projects,” organizer Ethan Ash told 14850 magazine.

“Elisa provides funds to women-owned businesses in a professional way, so she jumped on the help,” says Ethan. “I love Via’s social enterprise approach, and we try to teach entrepreneurship and give back. A lot of kids are in the food business, so we asked Kevin because he grew up as a food entrepreneur. Dan has been involved in the program for years and his child was part of it.

The YEM Fish Tank is Saturday, May 21 from 1-3 p.m. at the State Theater of Ithaca on West State Street in downtown Ithaca.

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