2023 Youth Business Fair Concluded with Two Sunshine Award Winners

2023 Youth Business Fair Concluded with Two Sunshine Award Winners

Over 90 young entrepreneurs were in attendance. 

The Leadership Collier Foundation of the Greater Naples Chamber, in partnership with Collier County Public Schools, hosted the 4th Annual Youth Business Fair on Saturday, February 25, at Gulf Coast High School. The event included kindergarten students through twelfth grade selling products, services, or pitching their startup ideas.

More than fifty-four student-run businesses participated in the event and six teams presented during the Business Pitch Competition portion of the event.

There were three hundred and sixty-three attendees who had the opportunity to vote on their favorite student business in three categories: most original idea, highest business potential and most creative presentation. The businesses also competed for awards in hopes to when the ultimate prize, the Sunshine Award, where the winner’s products will be sold inside of a Sunshine Ace Hardware store. This year however, an unprecedented two Sunshine Award Winners by Michael Wynn of Ace Hardware were chosen.

“The youth today are the business innovators and leaders of the future. The Youth Business Fair gave students the opportunity to expand upon their entrepreneurial ideas and get a head start on promising business careers,” said Danielle O’Conner, director of talent initiatives at Greater Naples Chamber. “The Youth Business Fair not only allowed our youth to practice their entrepreneurial skills, but to unknowingly develop an entrepreneurial mindset that will allow them to look at the world with a whole new perspective.”

The winners are as follows:


  • 1st – The Art of Vinyl (Taralyn Thomas)
  • 2nd – Cadence Collection (Cadence Castaneda)
  • 3rd – SOL Designs (Sawyer, Olivia, and Mary Graham and Lyla Martin)


  • 1st – Fine Art by Nicole Marie (Nicole Collett)
  • 2nd – John’s Wood Working Company (John Disser)
  • 3rd – Ella’s Eclectics (Ella Eastman)


  • 1st – All Aces Arts and Crafts (Victoria “Ace” Law)
  • 2nd – Candle Land (Sam Strong, Sarah DeSear, and Dakota Anderson)
  • 3rd – Harmony Gifts (Samantha Fulcher)

High School Pitch Competition

  • Snap Secure (Anabel Trejo and Estefany Castaneda-Bartolo)

Public Vote

  • Most Original Idea: John’s Wood Working Company (John Disser)
  • Highest Potential: A Breath of Fresh Air (Tehya Miller)
  • Most Creative Presentation: Tie-Dye Sisters (Hannah Simon and Aria Diorio)

Sunshine Award

  • John’s Wood Working Company (John Disser)
  • Line and Sinker Signs (Trevor Merriam)

The Chamber would like to extend a special thank you to our Youth Business Fair sponsors:

Sunshine Ace Hardware, Barron Collier Companies, The Players Club and Spa, Lipman Family Farms, MidFlorida Credit Union, Neapolitan Family Magazine, Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Jan and Kim Kantor, Tim Gibbons Photography, 4imprint, Publix, and Collier County Public Schools.

Additional photos from the 2023 Youth Business Fair may be found on the Chamber’s website, napleschamber.org/youthbusinessfair


By Red Gamso | Mar 16, 2023 | Work-Based Learning

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Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers