Summit Aims to Inspire Teens to Innovate

The Colorado Business Hall of Fame Summit will stream live on Tuesday, February 9, 9:00-10:00 a.m. Teens, teachers, classrooms, and adults alike are invited to participate. REGISTER

Teens interested in running their own business someday will have the opportunity to interact with two of Colorado’s most influential business leaders and two “next-gen” entrepreneurs through the Colorado Business Hall of Fame Summit, a virtual Q&A produced by Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and Techstars.

Since 1990, JA and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce have honored Colorado business leaders through the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. Laureates are part of a league of outstanding individuals who have experienced a lifetime of business success and have set powerful examples for others to follow.

During the Summit, two past inductees will be answering questions from young people interested in entrepreneurship:

  • Jim Johnson is president & CEO of G.E. Johnson, which was founded by Jim’s father, Gil. Through the years, G.E. Johnson has either built, expanded or renovated all or portions of some of the highest profile structures in Colorado Springs, including The Broadmoor, World Arena, Pikes Peak Center, Pikes Peak Community College, Fountain Valley School, Air Force Academy, Penrose Hospital and El Paso County Justice Center.
  • Larry Kendall is a founding partner of the Fort-Collins-based real estate firm, The Group, Inc. Additionally, he is co-creator of the Ninja Selling System, used by more than 80,000 real estate and other sales professionals worldwide.  His book, Ninja Selling: Subtle Skills. Big Results. was an Amazon best seller and number one new release in its first week.

They will be joined by two Gen Z entrepreneurs from Colorado who are poised to make a big impact.

  • David Potter is CEO & co-founder of Curu, a company setting out to make financial products more accessible to underrepresented applicants by creating a more inclusive credit system. The inspiration for his company came when he and his roommate kept getting rejected from student apartment complexes because they did not have established credit.
  • Alana Vaughn Phillips is co-founder & chief development officer of BobaVida, the first and only producer of popping boba in the Americas using healthy, clean, and responsibly sourced ingredients. She is also head of strategic partnerships at Go! Running Tours, which provides guided running tours in cities all over the world.

“During this virtual time in our lives, a new partnership with the company Techstars is giving us a way to share with teens the legendary stories of Hall of Fame inductees as well as entrepreneurs who were in these students’ shoes not long ago,” says JA President and CEO Robin Wise. “We think this event will fuel their desire to innovate and give them optimism for the future.”

Brian Sanders
Denver7 Morning News Anchor Brian Sanders will emcee the Colorado Business Hall of Fame Summit

The Colorado Business Hall of Fame Summit is being moderated by Denver7 Morning News Anchor Brian Sanders. Individuals who are interested in joining the February 9 Summit event can register at The event will also be available for streaming on the Denver7 app, which can be found across all popular streaming devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Android TV, beginning February 16.

Registration is free thanks to the support of education sponsor UMB Bank. Additional support is provided by: Alpine Bank, AMG National Trust, BDO, Beeble, Boettcher Foundation, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Craig Hospital, Denver7, Denver Business Journal, Denver International Airport, FirstBank, Flood & Peterson, Grant Thornton, Husch Blackwell, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Vectra Bank.