Young Entrepreneurs From Lansing Area Schools to Pitch for Start Up Funding

March 21, 2016

Lansing, Michigan-area high school entrepreneurs will present their business plans before a panel of business leaders, entrepreneurs and a public audience on for up to $5,000 in startup funding. The event will be held on Thursday, March 24 at the Michigan Chamber's Lansing headquarters.

The students, ages ranging from 14 to 18, represent 10 new Lansing-based businesses as part of the Michigan Chamber Foundation’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The event is open to the public.

The students will have six minutes to pitch their plans and ask for startup funds as part of the Investor Panel event (think Shark Tank meets American Idol). Based on the appeal and merit of the presentation, judges will allocate funds. Judges will also choose a business to advance to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Saunders Scholars National College Scholarship competition, where they will compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships, a fast-track application pass to apply to be on ABC’s Shark Tank, and an all-expenses paid trip to attend America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, DC courtesy of the US Chamber of Commerce.

The student CEOs who will be pitching for start up funds include:

Student CEOCompany NamerSchoolGrade
Brandon BaswellBeeper the Grounds KeeperHolt10
Undra BrownOLE: Organized Language ExchangeLansing Eastern11
Byron Gallagher IIIThe Clean CaseLansing Catholic11
Forrest GillespieFlames by ForestEast Lansing11
Myles JohnsonI Am ___Lansing Sexton12
Nicole MatthewsVictory BackpacksLansing Nexus Academy  9
Richard PelkeyClumsy CleatsOkemos11
John ScrimgerJack's Muffin ShackLansing Catholic10
Anaiyah Brewer
Jasmine Jackson
Anastasia Vang

3:1 Glam



Fisher Welch


Lansing Catholic


Investors and judges include: 

  • Kellie Dean, President & CEO, Dean Transportation
  • Keith Granger, CEO Granger III and Associates
  • Tina Kozak, President, Franco Public Relations Group
  • Juliette Okotie-Eboh, Sr. Vice President, Public Affairs, MGM Grand Detroit
  • Kevin O’Malley, Shareholder, Butzel Long
  • Denise Peek, Executive Director, Entrepreneur Institute of Mid-Michigan
  • John Reurink, President/Publisher, MIRS News 
  • Rich Studley, President & CEO, Michigan Chamber of Commerce 

For more information, contact Anita Lindsay, at (517) 371-7671 or