Ridgefield Academy Student Receives Runner Up in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Program

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) provides local middle and high school students opportunities to become confident entrepreneurs. During the year-long program, students develop business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch investors, and eventually launch their very own companies.

Sam Young is in Grade 6 at Ridgefield Academy and not only did he receive funding for his business idea, he was runner up in the program!

Sam was interested in developing a product that helps with managing mental health. His idea was inspired by the weighted blanket concept providing deeper sleep, stress relief, reduced anxiety, and increased focus. In doing research, Sam found that he needed to come up with something that was easier to carry around or perhaps wear…and boom, RestVest was born.

RestVest is a regular puffy vest filled with micro glass beads. The weight of the beads provides enough pressure on your shoulders and back to alleviate anxiety and stress, allowing the wearer to focus and stay calm. Sam says, “When you put it on, it feels like you are getting one big hug!”

The target market for this product is individuals aged 13-55. For every vest sold, 5% of the proceeds will be donated to charities for children with autism. Sam already has a manufacturer for the RestVest as well as prototypes and hopes to sell it in retail stores such as Walmart and Target. He would also like to see his product in local businesses and therapist offices as well. In addition to a fabulous marketing campaign utilizing Google Ads and social media, Sam is working on a deal with the Home Shopping Network.

When asked about his experience with YEA, Sam couldn’t have been more enthusiastic, saying, “YEA taught me so much about entrepreneurship and how to run my own business. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to take their idea a step further than the lemonade stand. It was an amazing experience!"



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