Friday, May 9, 2014

Local students getting face time with Warren Buffett

Four local students are finalists in the "Grow Your Own Business" challenge - and will present their business ideas to investor Warren Buffett later this month.

It's a competition sponsored by the Fairholme Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that invests in education. Winners will be announced in Omaha on May 19, and will receive $5,000.

The national finalists -- made up of five individuals, and three groups -- will present to a panel that includes Buffett. Online voting plays a role, too, and the public can cast votes through May 13 at

Here's the local contingent:

-Individual finalist Jake Johnson, who attends Woodlawn School. His business, Beaux Up, is described on the website as "a new twist on the classic self-tie bow tie allowing a completely customizable experience for the wearer - a patent pending clip that separates the bow tie into two halves."

-Team finalists Aiden Farren, Joel Perez and Logan Etienne, who attend Hornets Nest Elementary. Their business idea, called Helping Fields, "hopes to solve two problems," according to the website.

"The first problem we hope to solve is to create a place where people in our community who do not have their own land can grow a garden." "...The second problem we hope to solve is for our school's backpack program...the backpack program sends those students home with backpacks of food so they have enough to eat. Even though the backpacks give those students food to eat, the backpacks do not have fresh, healthy foods, like what would be grown in our garden."