Local Business Owners Mentor High School Student Entrepreneurs Through Launch Los Alamos Classes

Local business experts Patrick Brenner, April Dukes and Mandy Marksteiner are three of five teachers at the new, free Launch Los Alamos classes for teen entrepreneurs. Courtesy photo


This fall, all high school students with business ideas are invited to learn how to turn those ideas into a real business.

Launch Los Alamos is an eight-week crash course in entrepreneurship and business building for teens, sponsored by the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation. During the program students will get resources to help them put their plans into motion, advice from leaders in the Los Alamos business community and the chance to secure funding for their business.

Meet the local business experts who will be teaching the Saturday morning classes:

Mandy Marksteiner is an advertising copywriter and content strategist. She is the author of the book, How to Get Customers; an Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding New Business, available on her website www.mandymarksteiner.com.

Patrick Brenner graduated from Los Alamos High School and now owns a successful local printing shop, EDJ ink. His website is http://www.edj.ink/.

Di Ye is founder and CEO of Zhennovate, a company dedicated to individuals’ personal and professional development. As an MIT graduate, Ye has founded educational initiatives such as MIT THINK, which encourages high school students to innovate and solve real community issues. Prior to Zhennovate, Ye served as a program manager at Microsoft where she drove the product design, implementation, and launch of multiple software products on a global scale.

Ye also is trained as a professional coach who specializes in empowering working professionals and students to break through limiting beliefs. Her services with leading educational institutions and Fortune 500 companies cover a wide range of topics including mindfulness, social emotional skills, leadership development, career planning and development, communication, conflict resolution with transitions and more. In New Mexico, Ye also provides consultancy to the United World College where she teaches a global community from more than 80 countries entrepreneurship and transferable life/career skills. She is looking forward to supporting the Los Alamos community.

Nicholas Seet is an expert at navigating the funding process. When his first startup, Auditude, was funded for $1 million, he quickly left his job at Deloitte Consulting and dove into entrepreneurship. In 2005, he won the Rice University Business Plan Competition and received $1.1 million in cash and prizes. In 2011, he sold Auditude to Adobe for a low 9-figure number. Now Seet teaches entrepreneurs how to get the funding they need to start their businesses.

Prisca Tiasse, PhD, is the founder of Biodidact, the community lab that raises awareness and promotes hands-on education in Biotechnology by providing hands-on biotechnology workshops to schools and individuals. She also owns Los Alamos Makers, a community Makerspace where people can get access to space, tools, equipment and events.

Students can sign up for Launch Los Alamos by contacting the program organizer, April Dukes, at april@losalamos.org.

LAUNCH LA is a program of Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation; a private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization serving the Los Alamos area since 1983. LACDC serves as the umbrella organization for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos MainStreet, the Los Alamos Meeting and Visitors Bureau, Los Alamos Small Business Center, projectY Cowork Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Research Park.