Chamber Insider Blog

Loudoun High Schooler Earns Top Honors in 2024 Young Entrepreneurs Academy Investor Pitch Competition

$5,000 in Investments Awarded to Six Student Businesses in 8th Annual YEA! Business Plan Competition

Caitlynn Jeon

Lansdowne, VA – Hyeyong Caitlynn Jeon, of Independence High School, took home first place in the Loudoun Young Entrepreneurs Academy’s 8th Annual Investor Pitch Competition, where 22 student entrepreneurs pitched their business and nonprofit startups to a panel of local business leaders.

Presented by the Loudoun Chamber Foundation and the Loudoun Economic Development Authority, YEA! Loudoun is a 7-month program that teaches local middle and high school students how to develop, pitch, and launch their very own small business.

Like the hit show “Shark Tank,” these student entrepreneurs competed for $5,000 in investment capital at the Investor Pitch Competition.

“Our Young Entrepreneurs worked very hard to develop their ideas into real, investment-worthy small businesses and nonprofits. They learned valuable lessons about every area of entrepreneurship, skills that will serve them well, regardless of where their future education and career paths take them,” said Loudoun Chamber President Tony Howard.

The Investor Panel Winners for the Class of 2024 are:

$1,500 – Hyeyong Caitlynn Jeon, Independence High School

AriAri – Ari’s Journey is a book that explains the different emotions a child with a parent diagnosed with breast cancer goes through to show other kids they’re not alone.

$1,000 – Arjun Virmani, Nysmith School

Silent Pickleball – Silence speaks volumes: unleash your competitive skills quietly with the Silent Pickleball.

$1,000 – Madison Shields, Briar Woods High School

Simply Scrubs – An all-natural organic body scrub made for those with eczema, yet suitable for all skin types.

$500 – Praneel Sangeetham, Trailside Middle School

StylAid – An app that uses AI to create outfit suggestions.

$500 – Nikita Maheshwari, Trailside Middle School

Magnetical Magic – A magnetic clasp jewelry business offering effortless elegant aesthetics.

$500 – Akshay Bharath, Briar Woods High School

Tippy – A digital tipping platform to democratize tipping across all services.

This year’s YEA! Investor Panelists were:

  • Carol Barbe from Backflow Technology, LLC,
  • Rodney Hite from Xenith Solutions,
  • Natasha Magrath from You’ve Got Maids of Northern Virginia,
  • Stephanie Nerantzis from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation,
  • Jeff Powell from Strongbridge LLC,
  • Courtney Sydnor is a Deputy County Attorney for Loudoun County and Counsel to the Loudoun Economic Development Authority,
  • Matthew Vahue from Financial Growth Partners, and
  • Jeff Webster from PNC Bank.

Applications are now open for the Class of 2025. More information can be found at

The Loudoun Young Entrepreneurs Academy is presented in partnership with Loudoun Economic Development Authority. Supporters include the Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, Loudoun County Public Schools, Loudoun Youth, Loudoun County Department of Economic Development; Platinum Sponsors: Anchor Bar, AWS, and Claude Moore Charitable Foundation; Investor Panel Sponsors: Backflow Technology, Financial Growth Partners, PNC Bank, Strongbridge LLC, and You’ve Got Maids of Northern Virginia; Scholarship Sponsors: Backflow Technology, Clarke-Hook Corporation – Owners Group, Fortessa Tableware Solutions, Morven Park Center for Civic Impact, Northwest Federal Credit Union/Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation, and Strategic Innovation Group; CEO Roundtable Sponsor: CEO Consulting Group; YEA! Supporters: POUNCE Solutions, PurposeWorX LLC, Town of Leesburg, and Worldgate, llc.


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