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Young Entrepreneur Academy graduates launch enterprises

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Cyan Perry is a graduate of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerces Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a program launched last November for eighth-graders through high school seniors. Buying a greeting card used to be considered impersonal, an inexpensive way to avoid purchasing a gift or an envelope for gift cards.

Not anymore.

A new start-up created by 15-year-old artist and CEO Cyan Perry allows clients to order personalized greeting cards. In her line, ice cream, lollipops and banana splits adorn colorful paper with cute typography.

“I like things that are happy and cute and kind of delicious-looking,” said Perry. “My favorite (embellishment) is metallic sharpies.”

Perry, who just completed her freshman year at Southridge High School, launched her greeting card business HelloCyan this June at Washington Square Mall. She hand-draws designs on her iPad before printing them to personalize with markers, sharpies and embellishments.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Cyan Perry, 15, allows clients to order personalized greeting cards from her line, HelloCyan.

Perry is a graduate of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a program launched last November for eighth-graders through high school seniors. As members of the academy, students learn the legalities of running a business, from writing a business plan to pitching ideas to investors to legally registering their enterprise. Participants attend a weekly three-hour class after school to hear guest speakers, work with mentors, attend seminars and tour businesses.

The academy originally was started by the University of Rochester in 2004, and has supported the launch of nearly 450 businesses and social movements across the country. Beaverton’s is the first program in Oregon, and its first class of 12 teen CEOs graduated earlier this month to run eight start-up enterprises.

Kristine Taylor, 15, who completed her freshman year at Sunset High School, was also in the class. Her business, My Heavenly Helpers, teaches senior citizens to use tablets, smartphones and laptops to connect with loved ones through social media.

“After having gone through this program, I am extremely glad to have taken it,” said Taylor. “I have learned so much, which I can use for the rest of my life, and I got my own business.”

Taylor helps clients compose their biographies and handwrites notes and letters for clients who have arthritis. She hopes to decrease the age gap by digitally involving seniors in the lives of their families. My Heavenly Helpers launched on May 31 at Cedar Hills Crossing during a tradeshow. For more information about its services, visit myheavenlyhelpers.com.

“With the ability to connect seniors to their loved ones, I don’t think it would be right for me to quit,” said Taylor, who plans to keep it up while she goes on to study business in college.

As for the future, Perry plans to study business in college while keeping up HelloCyan. “It would be wonderful,” said Perry. “(HelloCyan) could help me get through college and help me pay for it.”



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