Two Local Teen Entrepreneurs To Compete At Nationals

Two young entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy hosted by the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce competed this month at the program’s national semifinals in Rochester, N.Y., earning a spot in the national finals.

A total of 90 businesses representing 33 states competed for six spots in the national finals, to be held this June during America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. Snap’d In, a customizable cellphone case company represented by Ethan Shapiro of the American Heritage School and Ryan Shnider of Palm Beach Central High School, took first place in the Southeast Region. The students were selected to compete in the sixth annual Saunders Scholars Competition.

Hundreds of business and education leaders, students and parents will gather to hear America’s top six young entrepreneurs, ages 11-18, pitch their business plans. The students will compete to win college scholarships ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 during an all-expenses-paid trip, and for the opportunity to be on ABC’s hit TV show Shark Tank.

The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce runs the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program locally though its nonprofit arm, the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation. As part of the program, students are introduced to all facets of the business world.

During the nine-month program, more than 20 local businesses become involved at various levels. Students work in close cooperation with local business leaders, community leaders and educators, who use their personal experiences to demonstrate how to transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world. By the time the students graduate, they are CEOs of their own real business or social movement.

The local program would not be possible without the support of the co-presenting sponsors, Florida Power & Light and the School District of Palm Beach County, as well as many other program sponsors and volunteers.

Applications are now available for 2016-17. For information on how to get involved, call (561) 790-6200 or visit

ABOVE: Ethan Shapiro of American Heritage School and Ryan Shnider of Palm Beach Central High School will compete at nationals.