At the 2020 YEA! Investor Panel held on March 11th, James Stucky, CEO of Bulldog Protective Gear was named the 2020 Grand Junction Are Chamber’s Saunders Scholar. James and his family will be attending the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Semi-Final Competition in Rochester, NY in late August to compete for up to $30,000 in college scholarships and up $5,000 in cash awards.

James is currently a 6th grader at Caprock Academy. James came up with the idea for Bulldog Protective Gear when he and his friends got hurt on multiple bike trails and while skiing. After a while, they got tired of getting hurt and that’s when the idea for his company popped into his head. In addition to being named a Saunders Scholar, James was awarded $2,000 for start-up funding from an Investor Panel composed of local YEA! program sponsors.

Fellow YEA! students that pitched their startup companies and received funding from the Investor Panel included:

• Elizabeth Daggers, 6th grader (Fruita Middle School) Allegro Transport $885
• Grayson Espinoza, 6th grader (Bookcliff Middle School) Impact Games $600
• Keaghan Hays, 6th grader (Redlands Middle School) Scravel $600
• Irelyn Kutzschebauch, 6th grader (Caprock Academy) Kenna’s Story Time $600
• Keid Medrano, 6th grader (West Middle School) GEAR.Labs $540
• Branson Miller, 11th grader (Fruita Monument High School) Miller Charger Supporter $478
• Luke Neville, 9th grader (Caprock Academy) Luke’s T’s $800
• Myka Neville, 8th grader (Caprock Academy) Across the Street Colorado Candy $854
• Quinn Riddle-Brosig, 8th grader (West Middle School) Custom 3D $600
• Corbin Rundquist, 7th grader (Caprock Academy) Chess Plus $243
• Brielle Sorensen, 7th grader (Redlands Middle School) Water Bottle Buddy $500
• Ethan Tregilgas, 8th grader (Holy Family Catholic School) Zanadu Apparel $800
• Russell White, 6th grader (East Middle School) Furniture for Fun Parks $500

After a short hiatus, YEA! classes resumed via Zoom on April 14th lead by third segment instructor, Sam Rubadue (Western Metals Recycling). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, all 14 YEA! students have been busy spending their Investor money and diligently preparing to unveil their business to the public this summer at a Trade Show at Mesa Mall.

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