Hear interviews with young entrepreneurs and see highlights from the business fair.
The Acton Children's Business Fair of Washington, DC sparks children's entrepreneurial spirit.
The largest entrepreneurship event for children in North America, this morning-long fair gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own businesses.
Children ages 6 to 14 are invited to create a product or service and sell to customers at our morning-long market. Prizes will be given for the best businesses by age and category.
Past businesses have included handmade greeting cards, a pet-sitting service for exotic birds, a photobomb booth, and a lemonade stand that donated a percentage of profits to protect honeybees. The possibilities are limited only to what children can create!
Originally started in Austin, Texas, the Acton Children's Business Fair has grown to cities including Chicago, Phoenix, Grand Rapids, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
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David Kirby & Nicole Spencer
David and Nicole, cofounders of Acton Academy of Washington, DC, live in Woodley Park with their daughter, Madeleine. David and Nicole believe that every child has the ability to change the world in a profound way. They hope to give children in DC a fun, hands-on experience of entrepreneurship to inspire them on their journey through life.
Past Judges & Volunteers
Margot Machol Bisnow, Judge
Margot is a writer, wife, and mom from Washington, DC who speaks on raising fearless, creative, entrepreneurial kids who are filled with joy and purpose. She is the author of Raising an Entrepreneur: 10 Rules for Nurturing Risk Takers, Problem Solvers & Change Makers. Margot has a BA in English and an MBA, both from Northwestern, and spent 20 years in government, including as an FTC Commissioner and staff director of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. Both her kids are now grown: Austin started a popular band, Magic Giant; Elliott founded Summit, a noted international conference series for Millennial entrepreneurs and creatives, and led the purchase and development of Powder Mountain ski resort in Utah as a permanent home for the Summit community. Her husband Mark was a late-blooming entrepreneur, and wishes his parents had read Margot's book when he was growing up, so he might have started his company before he was 50.
Adam Blau, Judge
Adam started a printing company out of his garage in high school and developed his first taste for entrepreneurship, similar to the young entrepreneurs at the Acton Children's Business Fair. Since then, he has worked at several international startups leading the overall growth strategy targeting the IT industry. Currently, he works in product marketing at Sisense, a hyper growth company within the data analytics industry.
Katie Corcos, Judge
Katie is a product manager for Lincoln Deployed, where she consults with civic and political organizations on technical solutions and strategy in San Francisco, CA. Prior to joining Lincoln, Katie worked as a software developer at Namely, a Sequoia backed company in New York City. Before entering the world of software, Katie worked in opinion research with a focus on public policy, and several liberty institutions in Washington, DC, including The Heritage Foundation. She is originally from Palm Springs, CA, where her grandfather inspired her to always have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Sam Corcos, Judge
Sam is the founder and head of technology at CarDash, a YC company that seeks to make automotive repair and maintenance as convenient and transparent as possible. His previous venture, Sightline Maps, provides an intuitive platform for 3D printing and visualizing topographical maps. Sam is based in San Francisco.
Steve Davis, Judge
Steve is the director of advanced projects at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). He has worked at SpaceX since 2003 and was one of the first 20 employees in a company which has grown to more than 4000.
Steve has founded and still owns several retail food businesses, his favorite concept being the Mr. Yogato frozen yogurt store in Dupont Circle, where customers can earn discounts in goofy ways, such as doing the Thriller dance, getting a stamp on their forehead, or reciting the Braveheart speech.
Steve has a B.S. in Finance and a B.A.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. in Particle Physics from the University of Durham, an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University.
Betsy Fisher, Judge
Betsy is the founder and owner of the eponymous "stylish and funky boutique” for women, Betsy Fisher. “Clothing expresses an artistic quality,” she says. “It lets you show who you are inside on the outside.”
Tracy Foster, Judge
Tracy Foster is the founder of ONA (pronounced ō’na), a New York City based company that designs and sells fine bags and accessories. Prior to founding ONA, Tracy worked in education at a charter school in Washington, DC. She looks forward to merging her passions for entrepreneurship and youth development at the Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, DC.
Phil Kang, Judge
Phil is the founder and CEO of Cloud Current Corporation.
Nolan Lewis, Judge
Nolan is the founder of Nolan's Novelty Artwork, a business which provides him with the opportunity to showcase his creative talents with the world. From a very early age, Nolan experimented with different mediums. His passion for the arts, coupled with school programs, led him to develop into the artist he is today. He launched Nolan's Novelty Artwork in 2016 at the Acton Children’s Business Fair, where he received the award for Best Presentation/Creativity the following year. This business is a stepping stone for the now high schooler. Nolan hopes to expand further than the Washington, DC area. Now returning as a judge, Nolan is hoping to continue contributing to the fair as a member of the Acton family.
Brian Macauley, Judge
Brian cofounded Broad Run Investment Management, LLC in 2012. Prior to that he served as a portfolio manager at FBR Asset Management, which he joined in 2009. Prior to joining FBR, Brian served as an analyst at Akre Capital Management, which he joined in May 2003. Prior to joining ACM, he held research analyst positions with Credit Suisse First Boston and Wheat First Union. Brian holds a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia.
Danielle McNerney, Judge
Danielle is CEO of Save the Moms. She is a Chopped Junior champion and was also a competitor on Chopped Junior Champions and NBC’s Food Fighters. She won the California Strawberry Commision Kids Cook-Off as well. She creates fresh and healthy food for her family that is quick and delicious. Danielle created her business, Save the Moms, to teach teens how to cook through step-by-step recipe cards so moms could be saved from the stress they often feel during meal time! Danielle participated in the Acton Children’s Business Fair last year, where she received the award for Business with the Highest Growth Potential. She is excited to be participating as a judge this year, and can’t wait to see lots of creative ideas!
Dan Mindus, Judge
Dan is a venture capitalist at NextGen Venture Partners. Before founding NextGen, Dan was a vice president at the NewVantage Group, an early-stage investing firm in Washington, DC. Dan has been included twice on Washingtonian's list of 100 DC Tech Titans. He holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Joanna Robinson, Judge
Joanna is the creator and owner of Lunar Massage, a chain of no-frills massage studios in DC specializing in bodywork massage. She worked in fundraising prior to starting her business and wishes she had been exposed to entrepreneurship earlier in life through an event like the Acton Children’s Business Fair.
Thierry Uwilingiyimana, Judge
Thierry is an entrepreneur, an engineer, and a lifelong learner. He is currently the product director at SchoolHack Solutions, a personalized competency-based learning tech company in Vermont. Before SchoolHack, he co-founded ClassTracks, Inc., a vocabulary tool for English language learners. He is also active in the progressive school movement as a consultant and advisor. He looks forward to seeing what the young entrepreneurs come up with!
Kathleen O’Hearn, Volunteer
Kathleen is the Director of Policy Advancement at the State Policy Network. State Policy Network is the only group in the country dedicated solely to improving the practical effectiveness of independent, non-profit, market-oriented, state-focused think tanks. She lives with her husband, Jerry Brito, and dog, Jerky, in Falls Church, VA.
Maryrose Milkovich, Volunteer
Maryrose grew up in Montana and moved to the DC area two years ago to pursue job opportunities and gain a new perspective on the world. She has worked in nonprofits since moving and currently works for a university-based research center doing marketing. She enjoys staying active with volleyball and running and likes to go on outdoor adventures including river rafting, hiking, and skiing. She will be pursuing her MBA this fall at George Mason University.
Rob Montz, Volunteer
Rob is the senior writer at Keybridge Communications and a contributing producer at ReasonTV. His work has been featured in BBC World News, The Economist, and The Washington Post. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, their daughter, Juniper, and genius corgi Bronson.
Alex Roosenburg, Volunteer
Alex was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. She has taught in Switzerland and Tanzania and is currently an assistant principal at the primary school campus of Washington International School. Alex plans to leave WIS at the end of the year to pursue her dream of starting her own school. She looks forward to seeing what the student entrepreneurs come up with and how their creative minds market and sell their ideas!
Stacie Rumenap, Volunteer
Stacie is a one-woman champion of nonprofit causes ranging from child safety to promoting free-market enterprise. She and her husband, a tech entrepreneur, live in DC with their three children. The coolest thing she has done is work on the first-ever national election in Somali in 2001. The election recognized the northern part of the county’s independence (Somaliland), gave Somaliland women the right to vote for the very first time, and established future, free elections for all Somalilanders.
Brit Vorreiter, Volunteer
Brit is a native of Louisville, KY, and has been a resident of the DMV area for the last 5 years. She is a fundraiser at a nonprofit in Arlington dedicated to building a grassroots movement that holds public officials accountable. Her first paid job was building curricula for freshman business students and helping them decide which discipline they were most interested in pursuing. This is her second year volunteering at the ACBF DC, and she's excited to see (and buy) the products this year's entrepreneurs sell!