FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shay Pantano
Young filmmakers, music artists and fashion designers will compete in entrepreneurship contest as part of the first-ever Global Entrepreneurship Week
NEW YORK (Nov. 5, 2008) – Fifteen young filmmakers, music artists and fashion designers have been selected to compete in a nationwide creative entrepreneurship competition, the Race to BE. Hosted by artist and entrepreneur Russell Simmons, the Race to BE. is the signature U.S. event for the worldwide initiative Global Entrepreneurship Week, which encourages young people to leverage their artistic abilities into entrepreneurial endeavors.
The film competition, BE. The Story, hosted by Simmons, will kick off the Race and Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles on Nov. 17. Two days later on Nov. 19, the music leg of the race, BE. The Sound, will take place in Austin at Austin Scottish Rite Theatre. Traveling east to New York City on Nov. 21, the Race will culminate in the fashion challenge, BE. The Style at the New York Stock Exchange. Simmons will take part in the final presentations and announce the three winners of the nationwide Race to BE. that evening.
Hundreds of young entrepreneurs from more than 22 states applied to compete in the Race to BE, with some applicants coming from as far as the United Kingdom.
The 15 finalists competing to be the movie, music and fashion moguls of tomorrow are:
• Benjamin Sinclair, viral filmmaker/actor/entrepreneur, New York
• Ryan Pickett, filmmaker, from Nashville, TN
• Bryan Pasian, animator/voice actor/filmmaker, from New York
• Daniel Uribe, creator of RenegadeCEOs.com and video producer, from Lakewood, CA
• Ben Carland, writer/director, from Los Angeles
• April Geesbrecht, singer/songwriter, from Fort Worth
• Tripp Gobble, founder of UNC record label Vinyl Records, from
• Stephanie Salvo, hip hop/soul music artist, from Austin, TX
• Adam Mcinnis, co-owener of DPR Entertainment and music artist, from Austin, TX
• Megan Tubb, music artist/lead singer of Megan Tubb & Shady People, from Austin, TX
• Ronit Genik, ready-to-wear designer, from New York
• Jessie Williams, JW Designs and Edge of Urge online boutique, from
• Vaughn Jereaux Adams, evening gown designer, from New York
• Efren Andaluz, custom air-brushed t-shirt designer, from New York
• Baruch Shemtov, custom men’s tie designer, from Boston
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to remind young people to always pursue their dreams," said Simmons. "We all know that anything is possible with a little bit of faith, determination and resilience."
Simmons brings a lifetime of creative entrepreneurial success to his role as host of the Race to BE., including the creation of Def Jam Records, Phat Farm and the newly launched Argyle Culture. USA Today recently named Simmons one of the "Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years."
A winner will be selected from each competition, following an all-day mentoring workshop and presentation of his or her work. Each winner will receive a prize of $5,000, a further mentoring opportunity and national media exposure for the winning concept.
Already on board to serve as judges or mentors in the events are Ted Harbert, CEO of Comcast Entertainment; Michael de Zayas, CEO and founder of Neighborhoodies; Shannon Blake Gans, executive producer & CEO of New Deal Studios; and CEO of Nolcha, Kerry Bannigan.
More than 75 countries have joined together to participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 17 - 23, 2008, with hopes of inspiring the next generation of creative thinkers. Global Entrepreneurship Week is co-founded by the U.S.-based Ewing Marion Kauffman foundation and Make York Mark in the United Kingdom. The Week is being globally sponsored by NYSE Euronext, IBM and Ernst & Young. The Race to BE. is nationally sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and the Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
For more information about the Race to BE., visit: www.racetobeusa.com.
A webcast of the launch announcement can also be viewed at www.unleashingideas.org.
About Global Entrepreneurship Week
With the goal to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity, Global Entrepreneurship Week will encourage youth to think big, to turn their ideas into reality, and to make their mark. From Nov. 17-23, 2008, millions of young people around the world will join a growing movement to generate new ideas and to seek better ways of doing things. Thousands of activities are being planned in more than 70 countries around the world. Global Entrepreneurship Week is founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Make Your Mark campaign; sponsored by NYSE Euronext, IBM and Ernst & Young. To view a complete list of participating countries and organizations or to learn more, visit www.unleashingideas.org.
About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has more than $2.4 billion in assets. More information is available at www.kauffman.org.
About the Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence (AFEE)
The Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence (AFEE) is a national sponsor of Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA. Acton’s mission is to revolutionize entrepreneurial education. AFEE seeks to equip successful, principled entrepreneurs to effectively inspire, mentor and teach the next generation. Through the passing of wisdom, AFEE establishes a legacy of character-driven entrepreneurs who, in turn, have a positive influence on future generations. This chain reaction ultimately strengthens the foundation of the free market and a free society.
About the Public Forum Institute
The Public Forum Institute is the official host for Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA. In 2007 PFI successfully organized Entrepreneurship Week USA, held in all 50 states, with 1,310 partners, 3,707 activities with 481,449 participants. Following that effort, PFI met with the organizers of Enterprise Week in the UK to begin plans to take the Week global starting in November 2008.