Warren Buffett has announced the young finalist of his Secret Millionaire's Club "Grow Your Own Business" contest, a competition designed to teach kids lessons of entrepreneurship and give them a chance to win start-up money for their businesses.
During the week of May 7, people will have a chance to go online and vote for which of the finalists -- five individuals and three teams between the ages of 7 and 16 years old -- should win the $5,000 grand prizes.
The following week, on May 21, the entrants will pitch their business ideas to Buffet and a team of judges in Omaha, Neb., who will evaluate the ideas on criteria including "uniqueness of concept, depth and description of concept and feasibility of concept execution," according to a press release.
Contest officials will use the online voting results and the judges' considerations to determine who receives the $5,000 grand prizes, which will be awarded to the winning individual and each member of the winning team. Runners-up will each receive $500 and the teachers of the winners will receive $250.
According to the press release, the finalists of the competition are:
- Rachel, age 12 from North Prairie, Wis. - Business Idea: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sheets
- Noelle, age 12 from Staten Island, N.Y. - Business Idea: Screen Savior – The Green Screen
- Aria, age 10 from Pittsburgh, Pa. - Business Idea: Shine So Bright
- Sarady, age 15 from Los Angeles, Calif. - Business Idea: Feel Your World
- Jacob, age 12 from Omaha, Neb. - Business Idea: Teddy Shreddy
Charles, age 10 from Rego Park, N.Y., Lucien, age 10 from Forest Hills N.Y., Alejandro, age 10 from Forest Hills, N.Y., , and Nataniel, age 10 from Rego Park, N.Y.
- Business Idea: Deals On Wheels
Michael, age 10 from Bethel, Conn., Diana, age 8 from Bethel, Conn., Amanda, age 11 from Bethel, Conn., Lillian, age 7 from Bethel, Conn.
- Business Idea: Safety Guard'in
Anthony, age 11 from Puyallup, Wash., Justin, age 9 from Puyallup, Wash.
- Business Idea: Super Clothes
The competition was launched as part of a new program Buffett designed to teach children basic lessons in finance. The program kicked off with an animated web series called "The Secret Millionaires Club," starring a cartoon version of Buffett himself.
"If we can get through to some young people, say it's better to be ahead of the game than behind, watch out for credit cards, most important message is the best investment you can make is in yourself," Buffett told MSNBC in an interview about the web series. "Teach them if something is too good to be true it probably is. So if they learn those things the easy way through these stories early on it may save them learning the hard way later on."
See above for Episode 1 of Buffett's series.
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