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Young Hudson entrepreneurs awarded startup funding

(From left) Ryan Voss, Jack Wanken, Henry Nemitz, and Kadin Bartlett display props and prototypes used during their Young Entrepreneurs Academy Investors Panel presentations. Photo courtesy of Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce

Four budding Hudson entrepreneurs were awarded more than $1,000 in startup funding last week at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Investors Panel event. The Investors Panel event was held on Thursday, April 19 at the newly opened St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center.

The four entrepreneurs, Kadin Bartlett, Henry Nemitz, Ryan Voss, and Jack Wanken, are participants in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA), an after school program offered by the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. The seventh, eighth and ninth graders presented their business concepts, marketing plans, and financial estimates to a panel of five judges. The judges then deliberated and determined how much startup funding each business would receive. Unlike the popular television show Shark Tank, the Investors Panel received no financial stake in the new businesses.

In addition to awarding startup funds, the Investors Panel was charged with identifying which young entrepreneur would represent Hudson at the Saunders Scholars Competition. Ryan Voss will be one of 70 entrepreneurs vying for $30,000 in college scholarships at the Saunders Scholars Competition in Rochester, New York on May 3-4.

Funding for YEA and the Investors Panel was provided by Xcel Energy, Simply Staffing, WESTconsin Credit Union, Eckberg Lammers, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and the Hudson Daybreak Rotary Club.

More information on YEA is available at