Baylor 2018 Youth Entrepreneur Awards Announced: Recognizing the Best Young Entrepreneurs from Across the Country

Foster campus building
Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation (Photo from Baylor University)
April 27, 2018

Media Contact: Eric M. Eckert, 254-710-1964
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WACO, Texas (April 27, 2018) – Baylor University’s Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise announced the winners and finalists in the fourth annual 2018 Baylor Youth Entrepreneur Awards.

“Baylor began hosting the awards in 2015 as an effort to recognize and reward the top high-school-aged entrepreneurs in America,” said Linda Ramirez, program coordinator for the Baugh Center. “Each year we have been surprised by the caliber of the nominees and finalists in the competition.”

Marshall Adams of China Spring High School in Waco and his company, Texas Snow Waco, received the first-place prize of $2,000 cash, a valuable connection through Baylor's business network, five "credits" of hourly time that can be used for mentorship from personnel in Baylor's Center for Entrepreneurship (1 credit = .5 hours), a Young Entrepreneur of the Year trophy and Baylor apparel. Texas Snow Waco offers shaved ice treats at sporting events and parties through its mobile food truck.

Madeline Smyser of Vandegrift High School of Austin and her business, Madi’s Munchies LLC, took home the second-place prize of $1,000, three credits for mentorship and Baylor apparel. Madi’s Munchies offers delivery of warm cookies, granola bars and pumpkin bread in her Austin neighborhood and at conferences and special events.

The third-place winners, Nishka Ayyar and Riya Gupta of The Harker School in Saratoga, California, and their business, PromElle, LLC, received $500 and Baylor apparel. PromElle offers a peer-to-peer clothes rental for fashion forward teens through their proprietary phone app.

The Baugh Center, part of the entrepreneurship department in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, recognizes the best of young entrepreneurs from across the country. The program exists to encourage and facilitate entrepreneurship among individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The finalists are young entrepreneurs who have successfully navigated high school, while also starting and managing their own business.

Nominees are sought each year beginning in late January. In addition to nominations from the Baylor family, Baylor also reaches out to the business community and high schools. Students can self-nominate or be nominated by their peers.

Once their nomination has been received, students must write a short paper and create a video detailing his or her business. Submissions are judged and 10 students are selected as finalists. The 2018 finalists were invited to attend the awards ceremony on Baylor University's campus.

During the event, students heard from Baylor faculty and local entrepreneurs and made final presentations in front of an audience of their families, judges and Baylor faculty and staff. The group was treated to tours of McLane Stadium and the Baylor campus and concluded their day with a Dr Pepper float reception with Terry Maness, Ph.D., dean the Hankamer School of Business.

The other finalists include:

• Ryan Gabriel of Covenant Christian Academy of Colleyville, Texas, and his business KOLD Wear. KOLD Wear is a Christian streetwear brand that interweaves popular streetwear fashion with Christian morals and ideas.

• Gina Marie Grieb of M.B. Lamar Senior High School in Houston and her company, G&G Pressure Washing. Grieb began her pressure-washing business in her neighborhood in Houston in 2016 and, since then, her business has grown by word of mouth and referrals.

• Walt Horton of Regents School of Austin and his business, Blue Valley Fly Fishing. Blue Valley Fly Fishing offers fun summer camps where kids learn to fly fish and receive individual instruction and guidance.

• Will Pfennigwerth of Fordham Preparatory School and his company, Spark 3D. Will invented and developed an affordable, mid-market 3D printer with features common in high-end 3D printers and is currently targeting the education and hobbyist markets.

• Kyndal Sligh of Lorena High School and her business, Red Barn Genetics. Red Barn Genetics offers affordable and competitive show livestock with real-time instruction to families involved in the 4H and FFA.

• Zachary Tuzzo of Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York, and his business, WestchesterEats, LLC.

For more information and to nominate other young entrepreneurs, visit the Young Entrepreneur Awards website.

by Brooke Battersby, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, the school offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study. Visit and follow on Twitter at

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