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Startup Week’s top teen business wins startup capital

Robin Wise, Chris Cordova and Janeth Mancha
Robin Wise, Chris Cordova and Janeth Mancha

The Denver Office of Economic Development honors the best and brightest ideas in small business through the JumpStart BizPlan Awards, presented by Deloitte and and U.S. Bank. Judges selected three early-stage entrepreneurs to pitch their concepts at a live event on September 28 during Denver Startup Week. This year’s award, and a $30,000 cash prize, went to Guerrilla Gravity, a rider-focused mountain bike manufacturing company.

For the first time, the citywide business plan competition also included a category for young entrepreneurs, presented by Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc.  The Teen BizPlan Award was given following short presentations and a popular vote of attendees. The competing students prepared for this opportunity by participating in two of JA’s entrepreneurship programs, JA Business Week, presented by Arrow Electronics, Inc. and JA My First Startup. Following are descriptions of the three company competing companies.

  • Sport Cabanas is a rental company that takes the hassle of out attending youth sporting events by providing spectators with canopies, chairs, and a mister or heater depending on weather conditions.
  • Artists Unsolicited is a movable gallery created to build the attention of nonprofits, in addition to giving artists a voice. The initial goal is to build a community through art, one that cares about the success of these organizations that work so hard. Artists deserve a voice, and the community, deserves to hear it.
  • Care Corps is more than just a babysitting site. Through Care Corps, children and teenagers are paired together based on interests to provide a mentoring relationship. Care Corps sitters are there when you need more than just a sitter!

The winner of the Teen BizPlan Award, and a $5,000 cash prize, is Sport Cabanas! Be sure to check out the company’s website at www.sportcabanas.com.

Sport Cabanas founders are Janeth Mancha, Chris Cordova, and Jillian Troftgruben. Janeth is a junior at MESA High School and Chris is a senior at Arvada West High School. Jillian, who manages the financial side of the business, is a JA Inspiration Scholarship recipient who graduated from Grandview High School in 2015 and is attending the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.

“During this process I learned so many things,” said Janeth. “Mainly, I learned that teamwork is key. Without teamwork and help, we wouldn’t have gotten this far. No matter what the distance is, we were able to work as a team and come together to show what we are capable of as young entrepreneurs.”