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YEA! competition winners selected

Perinton, N.Y. -- Dozens of students pitched their business plans at the Young Entrepreneurs Competition semifinal round Friday to try and not only win scholarship money, but a chance to maybe be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.

Three Rochester-area teens were selected as winners of this round of competition: Riley Benner, 15, Luke Zaremski, 16, and Noah Corette, 16.

Benner and Zaremski, both of Rochester, pitched their business idea for high-end silk reversible neckties. Their business is called Phoenix Haberdashery.

"When someone buys our tie, they're getting just about the same quality as they would get with the top designers in the men's fashion industry, and they're getting two in one for the same price," Benner said.

"I spilled something on my tie one day at school and I was like, 'Man, wouldn't it be easy if I could flip this over and have a new tie,'" Zaremski said.

Corette, of Hamlin, pitched his high-quality handcrafted game calls for hunters to the judges. His business is called Toller Brand Game Calls.

"I hand craft high quality game calls like this duck call that I made and I make them at my house and I sell them online," said Corette.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy started this competition in Rochester six years ago to give students a chance to be business men and women.

This year, 28 businesses representing seven states across the northeast region pitched ideas and products to local entrepreneurs and business owners who acted as judges. The students presenting these businesses are between 11 and 18 years old.

The final round of will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 11.

The top prize is a $25,000-50,000 scholarship and a chance to audition for ABC's Shark Tank.

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Washington Times