Local Girl Wins 3rd Place at National Young Entrepreneurs Academy CompetitionAug 03, 2016 09:41AM ● By Kelly Cannon
Emily Guertler took third place and the People’s Choice Award for her idea of making pants that are easier for diabetics.— Becky Guertler
Sandy, Utah - Emily Guertler had a great idea. She invented a pair of pants with a discreet zipper on the leg that would allow diabetics to administer shots without having to take off their pants. This idea propelled the 15-year-old Emily to win both third place and the People’s Choice Award at the Young Entrepreneurs National Saunders Scholarship Competition in Washington DC.
Emily is a member of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Academy. She joined in March after her mother, Becky, told her about the program.
“I thought it was a good idea to learn about business and learn how to start a business,” Emily said. “Once I got the idea, I got really motivated.Emily was inspired to create StraightShot Apparel by her 7-year-old brother Lincoln, who was diagnosed with diabetes two years ago. Emily explained if her brother gets shots in the arm, it causes painful scar tissue to build up.
“If he gets it in the leg, it decreases the rate of that,” Emily said. With the zipper opening in the pants, Lincoln can receive shots in the legs much easier than he would having to go through the process of undressing.
Emily was one of seven national finalists who convened on June 13 to pitch their ideas and compete for college scholarships. Emily became one of the national finalists after winning first at the chamber level and then at the regional level.
In Washington DC, Emily presented her idea and business plan to 10 judges, the first place winner from last year and a large audience. The judges awarded her third place while the audience voted for her idea for the People’s Choice Award.
Emily said she was surprised when she found out she had won.
“I was just happy I got to go to DC and compete,” Emily said. “I was really surprised. I was still trying to compute it when I sat down and started taking it all in.”
Emily doesn’t know how much scholarship money she won because she’s waiting to hear back from colleges. However, the first place winner received a $30,000 scholarship to the Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Emily said working on her project helped her a lot in several skill areas including public speaking, researching and being able to make a prototype and a business plan. Emily hopes to expand StraightShot into different types of clothing.
“Right now it’s just pants, but I want to grow bigger and have dress shirts and dresses,” Emily said. “Then I want to expand the clothing line into others like those with g-tubes. I want to modify clothes to help those with disabilities.”
This year, Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Academy had a total of 14 businesses finish the program with nine kids actively starting their business. Students in the program range from 11 to 18 years old. Mentors, sponsors and investors give donations of either time or money in order to make the program successful.
The chamber is currently accepting applications for this year’s cohort of Young Entrepreneurs Academy. For more information, visit sandychamber.com.