Young Americans Blog

Behind the Scenes with the CYE Judges

By: Maura McInerney Published: June 30th, 2014
The judges discuss the character traits of great young entrepreneurs before they review the applications.

The judges discuss the character traits of great young entrepreneurs before they review the applications.

With the help of our wonderful Daniels Scholar Intern, JD Yaklich, and Board member David Wolf, a former venture capital investor and adjunct professor, Young Americans just concluded the judging process to decide the winners and finalists for our youth business competition, the Celebration for Young Entrepreneurs (CYE).

How it works

Since we have such a close connection to all the young entrepreneurs who apply to the competition we reach out to our community to help us decide the winners. We were thrilled to invite educators, professionals, local leaders and entrepreneurs to serve as judges. The judges review the applications submitted on YouNoodle (an entrepreneur competition platform), they rate all the entrants in one of three age categories, and provide written feedback for improvement. The judging criteria are based on specific areas, like the overall business idea, marketing, sustainability, and profitability. Then the judges all meet in person at Young Americans to deliberate and choose the top three businesses in each category.

The judges discuss what makes an entrepreneur - and an application - great.

The judges discuss what makes an entrepreneur – and an application – great.

Previous winners and flourishing business owners Tanner Barkin and Taylor Palmie from clothing company Alkaline were present to offer their insights on being young entrepreneurs. We were also fortunate enough to have a few of Denver’s “40 under 40” professionals like Sarah Hidey from JVA Consulting, Kevin Koster from Clouthpath Networks Inc. and Lisa Gonzales from NIMBL LLC, weigh in on the up-and-coming youth business stars. We always appreciate the support and understanding of some of Colorado’s finest educators like Andy Blair from St. Mary Academy.

Thanks!

Thank you judges! Thank you applicants! We will announce winners this fall, but will providing judge feedback to our applicants in the next few weeks. Be sure to join us during Denver Start Up Week in September where the oldest age category finalist will participate in a live shark tank.

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