YEBW 2016 at University of Portland

The UP Experience

At Young Entrepreneurs Business Week 2016 at University of Portland, July 10 to 16, more than 100 high school students from across Oregon congregated on campus for one week to learn about business and leadership from real entrepreneurs, executives and business professionals. At YEBW, students build and run their own mock companies, while they stay and study on campus.


This is the 8th year students experienced YEBW at University of Portland. A total of 106 students enrolled, with 76 in the first-year, flagship program Business Week and 30 in the second-year Investing Week. At UP, 35 staff and volunteer instructors led the curriculum and program logistics on site, including 5 staff members, 15 Advisors and 15 Interns.


At UP, students received an extended campus tour, as they split time between Corrado Hall, Mehling Hall, Franz Hall, Bauccio Commons and Buckley Center Auditorium.


Throughout the week, students heard inspirational talks on everything from product ideation to business development to professional growth. Speakers like Anne Donovan of Xenium HR, Anthony Miller of The Knowledge Coop, Emma McIlroy of Wildfang, UP Alumni Joe Novello of NurseGrid, Kelly Williams Brown of the book Adulting, Lou Radja of Lou Radja Enterprises, Max Janasik of Cambia Health Solutions and Steve Brown of Possibility and Purpose presented for YEBW students at UP.


At Business Week, nine teams or ‘mock companies’ competed in the Business Simulation (BizSim) and Product Business Plan competitions. YEBW recognized Company 2 and Company 5 for their outstanding overall performance throughout the week. Trent Rabe, from Henley High School, was honored with the Nick Fisher Award, and Emma Zomerman, from Westview High School, with the Maurissa Fisher Award.

Several students earned accolades for their performance at Investing Week. Cadence Godula, from Franklin High School, was recognized with the ROI Award. Sam Bittner, from Bozeman High School, won the Portfolio Competition. Sam Wallace, from West Salem High School, received the Denise L. Sunseri Award.


YEBW at UP was run by dedicated business community volunteers: 

Program Advisor: Jason Lesh, Pilot Wealth Management
Program Interns: Alex Dassise, Quincy Brown and Todd Murphy

Business Week Company 1: Aaron Milano, Portland General Electric, and Coley Trost
Business Week Company 2: Angie Gordon, Pop & Paint, and Ayub Dahir
Business Week Company 3: Mike Cebula, Service Management, and Emily Rodriguez
Business Week Company 4: Erin Dopfel, Portland General Electric, and Evan Chen
Business Week Company 5: Murali Nallakrishnan, Seven Continents, and Alex Bridgeman
Business Week Company 6: Jamie Boardman, KS&Co, and Mark Morud
Business Week Company 7: Justin Hendrickson, The Standard, and Kabitanjali (Kabi) Amatya
Business Week Company 8: Mike Meier, Portland General Electric, and Hannah Dodson
Business Week Company 9: Ryin Khandoker, Portland General Electric, and Shay Serres

Investing Week Lead Advisors: Denise Sunseri, Private Investor; and Nick Fisher, Pilot Wealth Management
Investing Week Advisors: Jennifer Flickinger, Umpqua Bank; John Bennett, Jack Welch Management Institute and Concordia University; and Ross McDonald, FamilyCare Health
Investing Week Interns: Carter Kruse and Ian Gaus


University of Portland Alumni are at the core of YEBW’s success. Nick Fisher and his wife Maurissa Fisher founded the organization more than 10 years ago, and today, Nick co-runs the Investing Week program with Denise Sunseri—both serve as Lead Advisors. Jason Lesh, Nick’s business partner at Pilot Wealth Management, also serves as a Program Advisor for YEBW and as a Regent at University of Portland and Chair of the National Alumni Board. All three UP Alumni—Nick, Denise and Jason—serve on YEBW’s Board of Directors. Jim Berchtold was also instrumental in the founding of the organization. Long-time staff Troy Coady, YEBW’s Program Director, is also a proud UP graduate.

Young Entrepreneurs Business Week applauds all the students who participated in the 2016 programs at University of Portland, as well as the parents, business community volunteers and university partners who made it possible. Special thank you to Bill Reed, Sean Ducey and other UP staff who helped make YEBW a great experience for students and volunteers this summer.