Tag Archives: pittsburgh

13-Year-Old Pittsburgh Youth Entrepreneur Uses All-Natural Ingredients to Create Lip Balm


A’Niyah Dixon, 13, from Manchester Academic Charter School in Pittsburgh, PA, is one of this year’s competitors in the i.Invest Competition. With her business, Winter’s Heart, A’Niyah hopes to put an end to chapped lips once and for all.

Tell us a little about your business.

Winter’s Heart is a bubble gum lip balm that A’Niyah plans on marketing to both females and males. Unlike other lip balms on the market, A’Niyah crafts her products with safe ingredients including food dye, petroleum jelly, bees wax and bubble gum. To appeal to everyone, the lip balms are clear and sold in different colors; therefore, males can purchase a product traditionally sold to women.

What inspired the creation of Winter’s Heart?

After trying a number of different brands, A’Niyah became frustrated that no lip balm on the market was able to cure her dry, chapped lips. When she began to research the industry, she was shocked to see the ingredients in some of the big name products on the market, so she decided to create a safe lip balm that would protect and heal damaged lips.

What challenges will Winter’s Heart face?

The cosmetic market is incredibly competitive and dominated by big name brands that hold a large market share. A’Niyah will have to invest a significant amount of capital into marketing to expand outside of her community. Because she hopes to market to both females and males, A’Niyah will face a challenge presenting lip balm in a way that is appealing to both genders. She may have to consider expanding her product line to include other scents besides bubble gum to attract a larger customer base.

How will Winter’s Heart impact the world?

A’Niyah hopes to solve a problem that many people face on a daily basis: dry, chapped lips. She also hopes to serve as an inspiration to her community and prove that kids, even at the young age of 13, are able to get out there and make a difference in the world with hard work and dedication.

What are the next steps for Winter’s Heart?

A’Niyah hopes to secure funding to expand her business in the near future. She plans on using the funds to pay for advertising and also to expand her existing product line. She hopes to also have business cards created so she can pass them out in her community and spread the word about Winter’s Heart.

To stay abreast of Winter Heart’s progress in the i.Invest competition, visit www.i-investcompetition.com and register for the i.Invest newsletter. Also, to provide support as a mentor or investor, please email info@i-investcompetition.com.

Good luck, A’Niyah!

13-Year-Old Pittsburgh Youth Entrepreneur Hopes to Beautify Your Garden, One Pot at a Time


Andre Rhone, 13, from West Mifflin Middle School in West Mifflin, PA, is one of this year’s competitors in the i.Invest Competition. Andre has always thought of himself as a creative person, and with his new business, Andre’s Plants, he finally gets to put these skills to good use.

Tell us a little about your business.

Andre created a decorative pot business so people in his community can display their potted plants or flowers in a beautiful setting. He uses items from around the house, such as ribbon and candy, to create unique, eye-catching designs that are so appealing, you just might not pay attention to the blooming flowers in the pot! After selling these decorative pots at community events, Andre realized that the demand for his product was high, and hopes to grow Andre’s Plants in the future.

What inspired the creation of Andre’s Plants?

After seeing so many plain pots in his home and around his community, Andre became frustrated. He looked at these pots as a canvas to design beautiful things with unique objects. Andre decided that he would be the one to use his creativity to transform the potting industry, one plant at a time! With his mom’s financial support, he began to purchase pots and decorate them with household items and candy pieces, and Andre’s Plants was born.

What challenges will Andre’s Plants face?

Each design that Andre creates is unique, which places a lot of pressure on him to come up with different ideas for items to use and how to place them. Because potted plants are a somewhat seasonal item, Andre’s pots may see fluctuations in sales, especially during the fall and winter months.

How will Andre’s Plants impact the world?

Andre’s mission is simple: to make the world a more beautiful place! Flowers and plants are designed to spruce up gardens and homes, but with decorative pots, they’ll be even more beautiful.

What are the next steps for Andre’s Plants?

Andre is currently not seeking investors for his business; however, he does hope to expand his business’s presence in the local community and on a larger scale. Eventually, Andre would like to open an Etsy store to sell his pots to customers around the world. Selling on Etsy would allow him to maintain low operating costs while reaching a huge audience.

To stay abreast of Andre’s Plants’ progress in the i.Invest competition, visit www.i-investcompetition.com and register for the i.Invest newsletter. Also, to provide support as a mentor or investor, please email info@i-investcompetition.com.

Good luck, Andre!


Johns Hopkins Engineering Students Develop Virtual Hand, Wrist Physical Therapy Software


Group photo (from left to right): Adam Polevoy, Parth Singh, Rahul Yerrabelli, Himanshu Dashora. Single photo: Benjamin Pikus

Rahul Yerrabelli, 18, Benjamin Pikus, 18, Himanshu Dashora, 18, Parth Singh, 19, and Adam Polevoy,19, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, are one of the teams participating in this year’s i.Invest Competition. Each of these young men are studying Biomedical Engineering, and were eager to solve one of the many issues facing the medical community with their company, MoTrack Therapy.

Tell us a little about your business.

MoTrack is a virtual reality software that has completely revolutionized the way that patients can receive physical therapy for hand and wrist injuries. Using the Leap Motion hardware and a webcam, MoTrack can track and interpret movements made by the patient’s hand and wrist. The patient can therefore complete physical therapy exercises at home and receive feedback on ways to improve in real-time. Because the exercises are designed to be more interactive and entertaining than traditional physical therapy, it is expected that MoTrack will have a higher rate of patient compliance to the regimen.

What inspired the creation of MoTrack?

After a friend suffered a serious wrist injury from playing cricket, these young men were surprised to see the intensive, time-consuming therapy that was needed to treat his injury. Years later, they participated in a weekend-long hackathon, MedHacks, where they were asked to use various gadgets to create a new medical invention. One of these gadgets happened to be a hand-tracking sensor used to track movements in virtual reality gaming. After putting their heads together and brainstorming, MoTrack was born.

What challenges will MoTrack face?

There are a few competitors in the same industry. However, MoTrack has the competitive edge when it comes to size and portability of the device. Furthermore, the current competitors are either focused in the European market or focused in general body therapy as opposed to hand therapy. In order to be successful, MoTrack will need to focus on educating consumers about the benefits of choosing MoTrack over other forms of therapy.

How will MoTrack impact the world?

Hand and wrist therapy is not only time-consuming, but costly and inconvenient as well. With MoTrack, patients will no longer have to schedule multiple appointments and travel to medical professionals’ offices to receive treatment. Instead, they will be able to do recommended exercises in the comfort of their own home while still receiving feedback about their progress and how they can improve. The cost of MoTrack therapy is far less than the cost of an in-office physical therapy appointment, so this software allows people of all income levels to receive the care that they need.

What are the next steps for MoTrack?

MoTrack has received $10,000 in non-dilutive funding from the Johns Hopkins University Ralph O’Connor Fund as well as an additional $300 from a Johns Hopkins University DMC grant. MoTrack hopes to secure another $50,000 from investors to cover the costs of patenting, running clinical trials and launching a large-scale marketing campaign.

To stay abreast of MoTrack’s progress in the i.Invest competition, visit www.i-investcompetition.com and register for the i.Invest newsletter. Also, to provide support as a mentor or investor, please email info@i-investcompetition.com.

Good luck, Rahul, Benjamin, Himanshu, Parth and Adam!



15-Year-Old Entrepreneur Creates Survival Bracelets that offer Fashion + Functionality

cheyenne rhone F9751 750Cheyenne Rhone, 15, from West Mifflin High School in West Mifflin, PA, is one of this year’s competitors in the i.Invest Competition. Although she can’t legally drive a car on her own yet, she has already created a business, Hopes for the Best, that reminds customers to stay positive and be prepared for any situation.

Tell us a little about your business.

At first glance, these bracelets may seem to be just decorative, beautiful designs. However, there is much more to these bracelets than meets the eye. Each design is made from a special material called para cord 550 that can safely hold up to 500 lbs. If you’re ever in an emergency situation, the bracelet can be unraveled and used as a rope, a clothesline or to pull up heavy objects.

What inspired the creation of Hopes for the Best?

Raised as a Girl Scout, Cheyenne was inspired to create Hopes for the Best after learning how to make rope bracelets with her troop. However, Cheyenne wanted more than just a visually appealing piece of jewelry, so she sought to add function to her decheyenne rhone F9791 750signs. She used the knowledge that she gained in survival training to turn her rope bracelets into a tool that could save lives in extreme situations. When deciding on a name, Cheyenne was inspired by a phrase that she wishes everyone would live by, hope for the best. Cheyenne hopes that her customers wear her bracelets with positive hopes for the future.

What challenges will Hopes for the Best face?

Hopes for the Best is in quite a competitive market since there are so many other jewelry designers out there. However, Cheyenne seeks to separate herself from the competition because her bracelets are both functional and fashionable. Right now, Hopes for the Best bracelets are sold solely through street festivals and community days, however the company will need to secure distribution on a larger scale to see higher earnings.

How will Hopes for the Best impact the world?

Because Cheyenne is on a mission to spread hope for the future, she has decided to donate 10% of her earnings to a charity of the customer’s choice. This will without a doubt make a positive impact in the world and inspire others to follow in Cheyenne’s footsteps.

Her bracelets are also made from biodegradable materials. These eco-conscious designs will prove that you don’t have to sacrifice beauty or style to reduce your carbon footprint in the world.

What are the next steps for Hopes for the Best?

Next, Cheyenne plans to continue spreading the word about Hopes for the Best and its positive message. Her goal is to launch a website to expand distribution and increase sales.

To stay abreast of Hopes for the Best’s progress in the i.Invest competition, visit www.i-investcompetition.com and register for the i.Invest newsletter. Also, to provide support as a mentor or investor, please email info@i-investcompetition.com.

Good luck, Cheyenne!




Help Sarah Heinz House Charity earn up to $20,000 to support Pittsburgh-area kids


Sarah Heinz House, a Boys and Girls Club in the Greater Pittsburgh-area, has been selected to participate in Rite Aid’s KidCents Program to benefit nonprofit kid-focused organizations.

In order to maximize their participation and to earn a grant ranging from $5,000 -$20,000, we are asking our friends and supporters to help Sarah Heinz House reach their goal of registering 300 new Wellness+ with Plenti members by January 31.

Just for registering we can earn money to help kids at SHH!

Additionally, customers can choose to “round up” every purchase at Rite Aid to the nearest dollar and give the change to support the program. The Rite Aid Foundation will match every $500 that is raised via “round ups”.

Register Today for Wellness+ with Plenti


If you are already a “Wellness+ with Plenti” member:

  • Go to https://kidcents.riteaid.com/
  • Log into your account
  • Scroll down and click on “start rounding up” in the KidCents section
  • Click on “Change My Charity”
  • Type in “Sarah Heinz House” in the “Search Charities” box

If you are not already a “Wellness+ with Plenti” member:

  • Go to https://kidcents.riteaid.com/ 
  • Go to “Select a Charity”
  • Type in “Sarah Heinz House” in the “Search Charities” box, hit “Enroll Me”
  • Using the “Wellness+ Plenti” drop down menu, select “KidCents”
  • Click “My Change”, right under your name & account number.
  • Add the requested information to complete the application

For additional information contact Jerry M. Cozewith, Development Director, Sarah Heinz House at 412 231 2377  ext 18 or email: cozewith@sarahheinzhouse.com.

The Power of Small Acts of Kindness

charity supper club
Charity Supper Club hosts and PR Solutions’ owners, Scottie & Michelle Jackson with Book Scholarship Recipient, Marven Kenol.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – On a warm Sunday afternoon in July at a quaint restaurant in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, a small group of friends gathered to break bread together and to give to charity as part of the Charity Supper Club – Pittsburgh (CSC). The crowd, although smaller than expected, filled the room with rich conversation while gearing up to make cash donations toward CSC’s designated charity of the month.  As a result of their generosity, book scholarships totaling $750 were presented to two college-bound Pittsburgh area high school graduates.

The Charity Supper Club, hosted by PR Solutions LLC, was designed with one goal in mind – to use small donations to help transform the lives of people in need. No amount is too small. No goal is too insignificant. The Club has taken strides towards accomplishing its mission. Over the last several months it has presented close to $2,000 to area charities and families in need.

Meet the Charity Supper Club Book Scholarship Recipients

Marven Kenol, Age 18 – $500 Book Scholarship
Marven recently graduated from the The Neighborhood Academy in Pittsburgh and is now a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He believes that having “a good education is vital to achieving your dreams”. He expressed interest in connecting with new people while in college and taking full advantage of all the opportunities presented to him during his college years.
Book Scholarship Recipient, Lauryn Williams
Book Scholarship Recipient, Lauryn Williams
Lauryn Williams, Age 18 – $250 Book Scholarship
Lauryn is a graduate of Avonworth High School in Pittsburgh. She is now attending Penn State University. Her goals are to “make an impact in this world whether it is large or small.” She believes that knowledge is key and with knowledge people can enhance themselves and improve their situations as well as help others.

A Letter of ‘Thanks’ from Marven Kenol

Hello Mrs. Jackson,

As a recipient of your generous scholarship, I just want to say thank you for everything you have done. The scholarship you have given me has helped me greatly when it came to my books. As of right now I am able to buy all of the text books that I need and some of which are a little costly. For example, a math program called Aleks costs a student $90 for 18 weeks of use. As for my Introduction to music history class, the text book for that class costs $90 as well. For my Sociology class, the text book required is $110. Since I have the Scholarship, I do not have to worry about not having enough money to buy books, and I want to say thank you!
Special thanks to everyone who contributed.
What is Charity Supper Club?  An invitation-only dining experience that takes place quarterly at a different restaurant in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Guests are invited to attend, and to bring a friend, and are asked to join in the conversation, eat well and pledge either 50 or 100 percent of the total cost of their restaurant tab (minus tip) to charity. Ex. if a guest spends $90 on their meal and pledge 50% of their tab to charity, they pay $90 to the restaurant and $45 to charity. Minimum donation is $15 per dinner. For more information or to be added to the Charity Supper Club invitation list visit http://www.prsolutions123.com.

Nonprofit Entrepreneuring Youth Launches IGNITE MY FUTURE Crowdfunding Campaign to Support New Summer Youth Program in Hilltop Communities


Entrepreneuring Youth (EYouth) has created and launched its first online crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. With an initial goal of $15,000, the campaign will run until July 30th and support EYouth’s entrepreneurship summer program for middle and high schoolers in Pittsburgh’s Hilltop communities. 

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA  On May 30th, Entrepreneuring Youth, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that teaches middle and high-school students entrepreneurial skills, launched its first crowdfunding campaign to support the Ignite My Future Summer Entrepreneurship Camp for kids. During the four-week camp, 25 students from the Hilltop communities will learn how to create their own business, develop a business plan and pitch their products to investors and customers. Detailed campaign information can be viewed at: http://igg.me/at/IgniteMyFuture/x/10829366.

Over the last six years, EYouth’s in-depth entrepreneurial learning experiences have reached over 500 area students, some of whom remain engaged for multiple years. Through program facilitators at Beaver County Youth Entrepreneurship Collaborative, Brownsville Area School District, Entrepreneuring Youth’s Hilltop E-Center, Manchester Academic Charter School and Urban Pathways Charter School, students have learned to think and act like business owners.

“The success of our kids impacts the entire community,” said Jerry Cozewith, EYouth’s President and Co-Founder. “Our crowdfunding campaign will allow us to invite a large and diverse audience from the global community to make an investment in their future. The goal is to leverage donor support to help us transform their lives and revigorate the communities around them.”

Funds from the campaign will help EYouth hire instructors, pay for transportation to field trips and develop retail expos to enable students to learn from entrepreneurial business leaders and to earn money from the sale of their products.

For more information about the campaign contact Michelle Jackson at info@prsolutions123.com.

About Entrepreneuring Youth

Entrepreneuring Youth is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that develops entrepreneurial learning programs based on real life business creation experiences for middle school and high school students. EYouth’s vision is to offer every young person, regardless of their early life circumstances, the chance to seize and create opportunities to achieve the life they really want and to build the vitality of their community through entrepreneurship. To learn more visit: http://www.eyouthamerica.org/.

Charity Supper Club Seeks College-Bound High School Grads from Distressed Areas to Apply for Book Scholarships


PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – PR Solutions will host its second Charity Supper Club (CSC) event on July 19th at Walnut Grill Restaurant in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. The dinner will benefit college-bound high school graduates from Pittsburgh’s low-income communities. Scholarships will be awarded to up to three 2015 or 2016 freshmen. To apply, students can complete an application at: Charity Supper Club Scholarship Application.

“We want to give kids a jumpstart in life,” said PR Solutions’ co-founder and Chief Financial Officer, Scottie Jackson. “College is an exciting time but if students and parents are struggling financially it can be a very stressful time as well. Our goal is to provide scholarships to help cover the cost of books or other fees for entering freshmen. We encourage everyone to join us at the next event and to give. An investment in our kids is the most important investment we can make.”

Scholarship amounts will be determined by how much is raised during the event. CSC attendees raised $1,200 in April to support Pittsburgh-area nonprofit, Entrepreneuring Youth.

To qualify, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Graduate from a Pittsburgh-area high school in 2015
  • Be accepted to an accredited 2 or 4-year college or university
  • Submit a 250 – 500 word paper on, Why a good education is the key to making my dreams come true?
  • Express financial need for books, year-one tuition and/or other essential items or reside in an economically challenged area.

The deadline for applications is July 1st.


The Charity Supper Club is an invitation-only dining experience that takes place quarterly at a different restaurant in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Guests are invited to attend, and to bring a friend, and are asked to join in the conversation, eat well and pledge either 50 or 100 percent of the total cost of their restaurant tab (minus tips) to charity. To learn more about the Charity Supper Club or to be added to the online invitation list visit www.prsolutions123.com, call 724-307-3056 or email info@prsolutions123.com.


PR Solutions Strategic Marketing and Corporate Event Planning is a Pittsburgh-based business consulting firm that specializes in effective and affordable marketing consulting, social media management and corporate event planning services for public, private and non-profit organizations.

Local Professionals Gather to Support Pittsburgh-Area Charity


Local charities are the pathway to community growth and prosperity was the overarching message given during today’s Charity Supper Club event at Sonoma Grille in Pittsburgh. Hosted by PR Solutions’ owners, Scottie and Michelle Jackson, the two-hour brunch was attended by a group of local professionals including representatives from UPMC and USAR 316th Sustainment Command in Coraopolis. The event raised money for Entrepreneuring Youth, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching kids from underserved communities entrepreneurial skills.

“Local charities provide critical resources for area communities. Our goal is to help them promote their initiatives by appealing to area professionals who enjoy great food, fellowship and giving,” said Scottie Jackson. “We are starting small with the hopes that one day we will attract hundreds of attendees to each event.”

The event raised over $1,200 for the organization.

Charity Supper Club is an invitation-only dining experience that takes place quarterly at a different restaurant in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Guests are invited to attend, and to bring a friend, and are asked to join in the conversation, eat well and pledge at least 50 percent of the total cost of their restaurant tab to charity. To learn more about the program visit, www.prsolutions123.com or contact info@prsolutions123.com.

To see photos visit our Facebook Page.



Twenty-seven middle and high school students from across Pittsburgh took the stage at Google in Bakery Square on March 28th to share new business ideas and celebrate youth entrepreneurship at the annual i-Pitch Competition. During the two hour event, EYouth students pitched products ranging from homemade cannolis to mobile apps and inspired a room of judges, parents, teachers and peers.

Sponsored by NextTier Bank and the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the i-Pitch competition was held as the culminating event for students from Beaver County Youth Entrepreneurship Collaborative, Brownsville Area School District, Entrepreneuring Youth’s Hilltop E-Center, Manchester Academic Charter School and Urban Pathways Charter School.  The judge’s pool consisted of 11 representatives from area public and private industries including Google, Neighborhood Allies, Ansys, Allegheny County Council, Alpha Lab Gear and Five Star Development, Inc. They were also joined by PA House of Representatives’ Member, Ed Gainey. Judges scored the two-minute pitches based on customer benefits, service features and presentation skills. Cash prizes were awarded to first, second and third places in middle school and high school divisions.

Top winners in the high school division included Grayden Sabol, founder of Footmark Tracking- a company that uses sound technology to find missing arrows; Nariah White, founder of Nariah’s Fabulous Jewelz; Caleb Kirkland & Maddison Angelone, co-founders of Holy Cannoli.

Middle school division winners included Cheyenne Rhone, founder of Hopes for the Best Survival Bracelets; Sanaa Morris, founder of Smore Cookies; De’Andre Gordon, founder of Phoenix Classic Designs, maker of custom T-shirts.

Congratulations to all the participants! 

Support EYouth’s up-coming Crowdfunding Campaign scheduled to launch on Indiegogo May 15th. Follow us at #IgniteMyFuture.