YEA Graduation

A Naperville student has started a new company that creates and distributes interactive white boards.

“You’re able to interact with PowerPoint and slide show presentations and manipulate data,” said Kuelbelbeck in a YouTube video that demonstrates his product.

The teenager began his business, Carrot Interactive Technologies with the help of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce’s first Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA.

“These students are the future and they really are the ones to be our leadership in years to come so kind of just give them that opportunity to hone their passion and a business that they would like to start,” said Brianna Belgio, Program Manager for the academy.

Over the course of 30 weeks, starting in October, Kuebelbeck and 23 other middle-schoolers and high-schoolers took classes facilitated by the chamber to help them launch their companies.

“We learn how to start and maintain our business, how to run the financials, how to figure out how much money we’re going to make and price things, packaging, marketing, said Kuebelbeck. “We went on field trips to meet with leaders in the industry and consultants to help us with our businesses.”

The academy culminated with a graduation ceremony at North Central College where they celebrated success beyond the initial business pitch.

“We wanted these kids to recognize the power of their own ideas and develop the skills necessary to turn those ideas into an enterprise. We wanted these kids to become creative, collaborative thinkers and leaders who could articulate their ideas well,” said Dianne Overguard, a YEA committee member.

“It feels really great because now we know that with the support of everybody that’s been helping us we can go out and get these products to the world,” said Maddy Krumins, a participant in the program.

Members of the chamber say it’s now in the students’ own hands to grow and nourish their business as they see fit.

“Right now we have secured suppliers for our components. Once we start having inventory, we will begin to start selling to school districts across Chicago land and hopefully across the U.S.,” said Kuelbelbeck.

Because of the success of this year’s academy, the chamber is already planning for next year.


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