January 30, 2006

Texas High Schoolers Honored for Entrepreneurial Spirit

2006 TCU Texas Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Awards to Be Awarded February 13

They create jewelry, manufacture surf boards and design web sites. Many still have lawn services, but high school entrepreneurs of the 21st century have broadened their business horizons. The Neeley School of Business honors 25 Texas high school entrepreneurs for their success in business with the TCU Texas Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. (Names, class, high schools, cities and business backgrounds are below.)

The Neeley Entrepreneurship Program hosts TCU Young Entrepreneur Days, February 12-13, 2006, bringing the state's most impressive high school entrepreneurs to Fort Worth. The 25 finalists visit TCU to consult with successful entrepreneurs, learn about TCU's award-winning entrepreneurship program and experience college life. The students are interviewed by a panel of judges, who select the six award recipients. Winners are recognized at the Awards Banquet on February 13. The Grand Award winner receives a $5,000 scholarship. The remaining five award winners receive $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships are doubled for those who attend TCU.

"They may be in high school now, but these young Texas business people are sharp, forward-thinking entrepreneurs who will hone their skills and broaden their knowledge in college, helping to drive our future economy," says David Minor, director of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program.

The Neeley Entrepreneurship Program is one of the top entrepreneurship programs in the country and has been recognized nationally by Entrepreneur Magazine, U. S. News & World Report, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and NASDAQ.

For more information on the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program, the TCU Texas Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and past winners, visit www.nep.tcu.edu.

2006 TCU Texas Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Finalists

Matthew Brown, Sophomore, Paschal High School, Fort Worth, TX
Provost Enterprises/Provost Designs
Provost Designs specializes in print, media and web applications and has served more than100 satisfied clients, providing support ranging from small design modifications to major Web appearances. A major client is the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling, Matthew developed the association's official website.


Kevin Burrow, Senior, Tulia High School, Tulia, TX
KB's Lawn Service
KB's lawn service began six years ago and has grown to 20 clients in 2005, due to Kevin's use of business cards, flyers, door-to-door solicitation and Christmas gift certificates for half-off service for loyal customers and good prospects. He also builds relationships with clients by offering to perform free-of-charge services such as lifting heavy boxes or objects in their homes.

Lucas Butler, Senior, Palmer High School, Palmer, TX
Lucas Boer Goats
In 2002, Lucas Boer Goats began with four female goats and has grown to 28 females, two males and four show goats. Lucas is expecting 60 to 80 kids in the spring. He has won many awards for the goats, and recently expanded his business to provide barn and fence construction, breaking horses and helping other goat raisers with their herds.

Christian Cartwright, Senior, Canyon High School, Canyon, TX
Christian Cartwright
Christian developed a creative design service in 2004. In 16 months her business has grown ten times. Major works include a commission for a horse painting for the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce (three years in a row), a published work for the Canyon Chamber of Commerce, a mural for a commercial customer, and a coloring book for Canyon High School.

Kelly Cavender, Senior, Highland Park High School, Dallas, TX
KCAV's Lawn Service
Since 2001, KCAV's Lawn Service has grown from two lawns to 12. Kelly manages all aspects of the business, from the actual yard work to billing and management of finances. He also performs special landscaping requests, including hedging the bushes, trimming, fertilizing, and raking and collecting leaves.

Justin Cooley, Senior, Arlington High School, Arlington, TX
Total Lawn Care
Total Lawn Care is dedicated to customer satisfaction by offering professional service at an affordable price. Beginning with The Salvation Army in Arlington in 2004, Justin has added four additional commercial accounts, more than 15 residential properties, and employees to help with the load. He plans to offer power washing and sprinkler systems in 2006.

Alexander Coulter, Senior, Sherman High School, Sherman, TX
Alex's Lawn Care
Alex started his lawn care business in May 2000 when he was 12 years old, mowing lawns within a three block area, pulling equipment in a wagon. He now uses a truck and has two employees. He has maintained an account with a national restaurant franchise for three years. In addition to mowing and maintaining lawns, Alex recently added reseeding rye grass for winter lawns.

Nathan Evans, Senior, Calallen High School, Corpus Christi, TX Seventy-Seven Surf Company Seventy-Seven Surf Company was formed by Nathan and two fellow students to manufacture and design custom surfboards and sell them at competitive prices, in response to high demand. The company also designs high quality t-shirts, turning a profit on every shirt released thus far. Seventy-Seven Surf Company sells its products to the high school and local retail shops.

Bradley Feller, Senior, Lucas Christian Academy, Plano, TX
The Cutting Edge Lawn Service
The Cutting Edge Lawn Service provides weekly and bi-weekly lawn maintenance, plus hedge trimming, landscaping, tree trimming and flower bed refurbishing. Bradley grew his business from eight customers in 2000 to 33 in 2004. Bradley trains new employees to show respect and kindness to the customer, do an excellent job, and have pride in their work.

Daniel Funderburk, Senior, Grace Preparatory Academy, Fort Worth, TX
X-Press Cuts Lawn Service
X-Press Cuts Lawn Service has grown from mowing local neighborhood lawns to expanding into new neighborhoods and adding commercial customers. With one additional employee, Daniel's target market is those who are not able to take care of their own lawn, either due to advanced age, disabilities, lack of proper equipment or simply not enough time.

Craig Gagne, Senior, Judson High School, Universal City, TX
Global Exotic Reptiles
Global Exotic Reptiles provides the finest in exotic livestock to hobbyists, educators and zoological institutions the world over, working closely with the nation's top breeders and well known importers. Craig has distributed more than 1,300 animals over the internet and via trade shows in the past three years without a single customer complaint.

Lee Gravette, Senior, Sherman High School, Sherman, TX
Big Lee's Auto Detailing
Lee started Big Lee's Auto Detailing in 2001, washing cars for his mother's friends. The business has grown to approximately 50 clients. Lee picks up and delivers the cars, SUVs, trucks and a few boats. He plans to continue growing this business, while treating every customer with respect and constantly striving to make the customer happy.

Walter Hinds, Senior, Pflugerville High School, Pflugerville, TX
Walter's Lawn Care
Walter's Lawn Care is a small scale landscaping business that operates on a personal level with the customers. Prices vary according to a graduated scale based on yard size and difficulty. Discounts are offered to senior citizens and retirees. Walter has learned to be competitive by being prompt, courteous and paying attention to small details that customers notice.

Austin Hoffman, Senior, All Saints Episcopal School, Tyler, TX
Austin Hoffman d/b/a Coleto Collectibles
Coleto Collectibles resells garage sale items via the internet. Austin scans newspaper to plan his buying strategy, then visits up to 15 garage sales each Saturday. He also sells for others on eBay, including an MGB sports car, Harley Davidson motorcycle, Nikon camera and Eagle RV. Austin has written a book, Guerilla Garage Sales, on how to operate a successful internet business.

Sam Janca, Senior, Georgetown High School, Georgetown, TX
J & R Enterprises
J & R Enterprises is an agricultural business specializing in growing, harvesting and delivering high quality coastal and alfalfa hay. At the end of the first season, Sam and his business partner friend hired 25 of their football and baseball friends to help harvest and haul the hay to a distribution point. The company now has 15 customers.

Amy Kalmbach, Junior, Kingwood High School, Kingwood, TX
Teens Against Cancer
Teens Against Cancer, a 501c (3) organization, is in its fifth year and has raised over $17,500 to help the indigent population with the hidden costs of cancer. The organization has a yearly drive for comic books and cards for cancer patients, and has decorated over 500 slipper socks and created tote bags for patients at M.D. Anderson Hospital. Amy oversees 10-67 volunteers yearly.

Jeff Livney, Senior, The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, TX
Piko Zoom
Piko Zoom is a graphic consulting firm offering web design and development, brand and identity consulting, print and Internet marketing and web/interactive solutions including e-commerce. With 15 independent student contractors, Piko Zoom recently designed an entire set of marketing materials for a start-up company, including e-commerce website, server, business cards and letterhead.

Jerred Nanney, Senior, Georgetown High School, Georgetown, TX
The Lawn Ranger
The Lawn Ranger provides the usual lawn duties, plus raking, planting and trimming trees. Since most clients are elderly, Jerred also transports trash cans and recycling bins to curb for pick up. At Christmas time, he hangs decorations and lights, and takes them down after the holiday. Since 2003, the customer base has grown from three to twelve, with plans for 20.

Charlie Neff, Junior, Grandview High School, Grandview, TX
C N Graphics
C N Graphics, a sole proprietorship, prints business cards, T-shirts, pens, pencils and other items. Charlie creates the designs, accepts other designs, and either prints on his portable printing press or outsources printing. Most of his business is team logos on jerseys and T-shirts. He provides special discount packages to summer/sports camps on T-shirts with a customized sports ball.

Laura Rolfe, Senior, The Academy for Excellence in Learning, Adkins, TX
Laura Rolfe Jewelry
Laura Rolfe Jewelry specializes in creating award-winning custom jewelry for women of all ages. Personal consultations allow Laura to design individualized pieces. She attracts new clients by offering jewelry repair, hosting jewelry parties, placing her jewelry on consignment at local boutiques, and is working on a web presence. Two sales representatives work on commission.

Michael Schatte, Senior, Chillicothe High School, Chillicothe, TX
Texoma Online
Texoma Online repairs computers, installs computer networks, designs and builds websites, and builds computer systems. Michael has serviced computers ranging from small home computers to large data servers at the local Sheriff's Office. Most of his customers come to him after dealing with larger local computer repair businesses that delivered poor customer service and high prices.

Andrew Spiziri, Senior, Highland Park High School, Dallas, TX
iLaunch Creations
iLaunch Creations is a network of websites that Andrew initiated in January 2002. Created as a personal website, iLaunch Creations developed into a large network of independent services. Each website is designed for a unique target audience and all but one is supported solely by advertising. Andrew conscientiously redesigns and adds features based on user requests.

Ashley Timmerman, Junior, Hyde Park Baptist High School, Austin, TX
Bead Expressions
Ashley creates beaded accessories such as bracelets, necklaces, earrings, napkin rings, bookmarks and more. From her first Market Show in 2003, Ashley has shifted her customer base from the familiarity of high school girls to the more profitable market of mature women, upgrading the quality of materials and expanding the supplier base out of state.

Xavier Trevino, Senior, Nikki Rowe High School, McAllen, TX
Ninemi Media
Ninemi Media is a graphics design firm with a strong client base, specializing in creative web development and offering cost effective web services ranging from simple database setup and content management systems, to 2D and 3D modeling and animations. Xavier began as a sole proprietor, then added a partner who had computer skills to complement his graphics skills.

Kesli Urbanczyk, Senior, Vega High School, Hereford, TX
Four Arrow Up Creations
Kesli travels to Dallas to purchase wholesale items for resell in her panhandle town, where the products are not available and therefore highly desirable. Products include housewares, jewelry, fine food, accessories, purses, holiday helpers and miscellaneous items. Kesli markets the products through home parties and a website, accepting credit cards and providing gift wrap.


Elaine Cole
Public Relations Manager
Neeley School of Business