WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Franchise Association's (IFA) Foundation announced today the grand prize winners of its 2018 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, sponsored by the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation and Subway International, which was held at IFA's 58th Annual Convention in Phoenix, AZ. The four millennial entrepreneurs — who hailed from the United States and Kenya — were selected from a group of 19 winners of the Global Competition, a worldwide program that engages millennial entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses through the franchise business model, and the only business incubator in the world focused on franchising.
Shark Tank star Daymond John led a panel of judges for the final round of the Global Competition on Tuesday, Feb. 13, when each participant pitched their business concept to John and a panel of industry experts, as part of a convention with nearly 4,000 attendees, for the chance to win an investment of $5,000 – $10,000 to help grow their business. In addition to John, judges included Tariq Farid, CFE, founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements, and David Mortensen, CFE, founder and CEO of Anytime Fitness.
"I have spoken with a lot of young entrepreneurs over the years, but I am blown away by the drive and business prowess of this year's NextGen in Franchising Global Competition winners," said John, founder and chief executive officer of FUBU, presidential ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, star of ABC's Shark Tank and chief executive officer of The Shark Group. "In fact, they remind me of myself in the early days of FUBU, when the only way to get to the next level was to truly hustle. Their commitment to growing their business is exactly what it takes to survive in today's competitive environment and I applaud them for their accomplishments so far. I'm looking forward to seeing where they go from here."
This year, Landon and Kat Eckles, founders of Clean Juice Franchising, LLC, took home first place, which included a $10,000 cash prize. Devan Kline, founder and CEO of Burn Boot Camp, and Andrew Cameron, founder of Donutology, each received $5,000. The judges also awarded a $5,000 prize to Stella Sigana, founder of Alternative Waste Technologies, a social enterprise franchise.
"We are so thrilled to have been a part of the NextGen competition this year," said Kat Eckles. "Meeting other young entrepreneurs, spending time learning from seasoned industry executives, and getting the opportunity to do some intense problem solving were all invaluable experiences that will remain with us long after our weekend at the IFA's Annual Convention. More importantly, Landon and I were inspired and blown away by the kindness and intentional way in which the NextGen leaders counseled and poured into us finalists. We gained new role models, new friends, new perspectives and feel so beyond grateful for the opportunity. We hope to make NextGen proud and continue to grow Clean Juice to a strong national brand!"
Since the program's inception in 2015, nearly 2,000 millennial entrepreneurs from more than 75 countries have applied. Many NextGen winners have been featured in top business publications such as The New York Times, Inc., and Fast Company, among others.
"This year was the most competitive yet, with nearly 900 applicants from around the world vying for 20 spots in the NextGen in Franchising Summit — a testament to our 2018 winners' entrepreneurial spirit, exceptional business acumen, and potential for success," said David McKinnon, CFE, Foundation vice chair and chairman of the NextGen in Franchising Committee. "We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to host these impressive young entrepreneurs at the IFA's Annual Convention and further expose them to the immense opportunity franchising provides. We have no doubt that their futures are bright, and look forward to providing them with unwavering support as they continue to grow into the leaders of tomorrow."
The 2018 NextGen in Franchising Winners competing in the final round were:
Andrew Cameron, founder of Donutology (United States). As a donut lover and savvy entrepreneur, Cameron discovered that purchasing donuts isn't an interactive experience. He realized the product is often boring and cookie cutter — a one-size-fits-all mentality. The ingredients typically aren't premium and not yielding a quality product. Like pizza, coffee drinks, and ice cream, Cameron believed that donuts deserved the opportunity to be customized and imagined by the customer. With six previous donut shops under his belt, Cameron founded Donutology in 2016 with the concept of made-to-order mini donuts alongside popular Classic donuts and developed a suite of donut-themed treats to give Donutology a unique twist.
Landon and Kat Eckles, founders of Clean Juice Franchising, LLC (United States). Husband-and-wife team Landon and Kat Eckles recognized the growing trend where people are now investing in their health, often spending more money on food than clothing. The entrepreneurs founded Clean Juice, the only USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise, with the mission of inspiring others to be healthy in body and strong in spirit. Products include acai bowls, juices, juice cleanses, smoothies, oat bowls, custom toast products, and other healthy snacks. Clean Juice now has 27 open locations, with another 75 in development, and an average unit volume of $1 million (per Franchise Disclosure Document, Item 19, 2017). By 2021, Clean Juice Franchising expects to have 500 stores nationwide.
Devan Kline, founder and CEO of Burn Boot Camp (United States). Kline was brought up in a low-income neighborhood of Battle Creek, Michigan. His mother and father were both victims of each other's domestic violence, which often would trickle down to Kline and his siblings. Throughout his career with the San Francisco Giants and at Central Michigan University, Kline developed this passion for fitness. Since opening the first Burn Boot Camp franchise in 2015, Kline and his wife, Morgan, have grown the brand to over 120 locations, with a projected 169 to open this year and a goal of awarding 1,000 worldwide in the first six years. In 2018, Burn Boot Camp's revenue is projected to reach $80 million in just its fourth year of franchising.
Stella Sigana, founder of Alternative Waste Technologies (Kenya). Founded in 2015, Alternative Waste Technologies (AWT) is a mission driven social enterprise focused on tackling energy poverty by producing clean fuel for cooking while significantly improving the air quality in homes. Seventy percent of Kenya's population relies on charcoal as their main source of energy, yet 20,000 people — mostly women and children — die each year because of indoor air pollution. AWT produces fuel briquettes through conversion of organic agricultural and charcoal waste from slum settlements. The briquettes have zero smoke, no odor, and provide an efficient source of fuel. To date, AWT has recycled over 150 tons of waste into fuel briquettes for cooking and empowered 80 out-of-school youth and women entrepreneurs in slum settlements to build businesses by selling briquettes directly to communities.
The additional 2018 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition winners include: Bazil Mwotta Biddemu, AgroDuuka (Uganda); Danny Park, RoboThink, LLC (United States); Dillon Orr, Johnny On The Spot Mobile Wash (United States); Ernie Beltz, Jr., Little Land Play Gym & Pediatric Therapy (United States); Gerardo Escudero Samara, Chillout Lounge (Nicaragua), Edwin Inganji (Kenya), Usalama Tech Group Limited (Kenya); Jeremy Dyer, Total Fitouts (Australia); Jerod Evanich, A Place At Home (United States); Ma Jonalyn Sison, Skinpotions Inc (Philippines); Marko Kasic, FundLife International / Football for Life Academy (Philippines); Matej Varhalik, SpeedFit (Australia); Milan Szabo, Anjuna Ice Pops (Hungary); Robert Bruski, Ctrl V (Canada); and Wyatt and Aiden Booth, Hopscotch (Canada). Aaron Smith, founder and CEO of KX Pilates, also was recognized at the Annual Convention as the Franchise Council of Australia's 2018 NextGen competition winner.
NextGen winners received a spot at the NextGen in Franchising Summit, a two-day educational and networking program for next generation entrepreneurs at the IFA Annual Convention, an accelerator program with industry leaders and CEOs; an opportunity to participate in the final round of the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition for a chance to win a monetary investment to help grow their businesses; and opportunities to network with leading franchisors, franchisees and suppliers and with other young entrepreneurs. Winners of the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition also had the opportunity to learn within The Shark Group's entrepreneurial training program called "InnerVation Lab," which is led by a world-class expert in entrepreneurship.
The NextGen in Franchising program is made possible due to the generosity of its donors and sponsors, which include David McKinnon, the founding sponsor; the Stewart & Jane Bainum Fund; Lawrence "Doc" Cohen, Doc & Associates; Stephen P. Joyce Fund; Choice Hotels Foundation; J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation; Tariq Farid, Edible Arrangements; Charlie Chase, FirstService Brands; Aziz Hashim, NRD Holdings; Joe Bourdow, Valpak; the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation/Subway; Tony Valle, ELM Perform; Dave Mortensen, Anytime Fitness; and Melanie Bergeron, Two Men & A Truck Intl.
For more information about the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, please contact Ashley Davidson at [email protected] or +1 305-298-8022.
About the IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation Founded in 1983, the International Franchise Association (IFA) Franchise Education & Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and supported through the generous contributions of IFA members and others. The Foundation's mission is to advance franchising and the free enterprise system by increasing the knowledge and professional standards of all members of the franchising community; educating the next generation of franchise practitioners; increasing recognition of franchising's key role in the free enterprise system; and providing comprehensive information and research about important developments and trends in franchising.
About the International Franchise Association Celebrating 56 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.