CNBC Visits JA Dream Accelerator in Partnership with “Cities of Success” Series

This April, Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain (JA) partnered with CNBC to host a panel featuring local entrepreneurs at the JA Free Enterprise Center. This event was in partnership with the network’s “Cities of Success” series which features communities with unique characteristics to attract major companies and nurture an entrepreneurial community around them. The second episode of the series focused on the Denver and Boulder area, and CNBC presented JA-Rocky Mountain President & CEO Robin Wise with a commemorative plaque as a tribute to JA’s work preparing today’s youth for a global economy.

CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson visited the state-of-the-art Daniels Fund JA Dream Accelerator as students from five area high schools participated in the program. After observing and interviewing the students, the national news anchor moderated a live panel for the students featuring five local, notable entrepreneurs. Panelists shared personal journeys and actionable tips on what it takes to build a successful and meaningful business and answered questions from students. Journalism interns from NBCU Academy partner school Metropolitan State University of Denver volunteered and shadowed the CNBC production crew.

The panelists were:

  • Lara Merriken, Founder of LARABAR
  • Mowa Haile, Founder and President of Sky Blue Builders
  • Darian Simon, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Be A Good Person
  • Robin Thurston, CEO and Founder of Outside Interactive, Inc.
  • Dr. Camila Uzcategui, Co-Founder and CEO of Vitro3D

Panelists were introduced by JA-Rocky Mountain Board Member Darrin Foster, Founder of Oogie’s Snacks. Merriken, Haile, Simon, and Thurston’s stories are featured in CNBC’s new publication, In Pursuit of Success: Stories of Ambition and Achievement, which students received after the event, along with swag bags gifted by each entrepreneur.

The resulting news segment, featuring an interview with Wise, aired on CNBC’s “Last Call” and was published on CNBC’s website. Watch the story on CNBC’s website.