Autumn Henderson, CEO of In A Pinch Products is the Grand Junction Area Chamber Saunders’s Scholar for 2017. She and her mother will be attending the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Semi-Final Competition in Rochester, NY the first week in May to compete for up to $50,000 of scholarship funding. Autumn is a freshman in high school, who is homeschooled. She gives 100% in things that she believes in, and is a hard worker which was evident in her business plan and presentation. She is active in her church, and volunteers at community events, through her mom’s place of employment. Her product consists of a compact bag filled with emergency supplies for women that retails for $15.00. It can also be customized at a cost of $20 and her goal is to sell 45 pouches in 2017 and have the product available in two stores locally. Looking ahead the company hopes to expand into a men’s pouch and even a pet’s pouch.
In looking back on her journey through YEA! the budding CEO commented, “My YEA! experience has been great. When I first went in I was just thinking that all I would have to do is just tell some people what my ideas are and then I would be in a business. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, but if you are really passionate about your idea and business you will make it through the hard part (aka the business plan writing). This is the best thing I have ever done in my life.” In addition to being named a Saunders’s Scholar, Autumn secured $1,100 of start-up funding from an Investor Panel composed of sponsors of the YEA! program locally.
Other individuals that pitched their startup companies and received funding from the Investor Panel included:
Raleigh Abbott, high school junior (Home School) Abbott Company
Wendy Espinoza, high school junior (Central) Foggles
Autumn Green, high school sophomore (Central) Green Stream
Makayla Martinez, high school senior (GJHS) Rover Sentinel
Jaxon Monroe, high school freshman (Grande River) Urban Nature Products
Zachary Smith, sixth grader (Home schooled) ZacPacs
Kearstyn Williams, high school junior (Central) Bats for Life
The Investor Panel was composed of:
Amanda McCain, Bank of Colorado
Debbie Salcedo, Capco
Dennis Derrieux, Home Loan Insurance
Jerome Gonzales, JG Management Systems
Matt Diers, School District 51
Curtis Englehart, Mesa County Workforce Center
Brandi Pollock, Fisher’s Markets
Ben Sawyer, StarTek USA
Jon Labrum, OBJ Group
Randall Cupp, US Bank
Dean VanWinkle, VanWinkle Enterprises
Tara Bunnell, Mesa County Business Education Foundation
Click here to download full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce May 2017 Newsletter.