Founders earn Innovation, Business Hall of Fame honors from Junior Achievement

CArlos Antequera’s business roots run deep, he told a crowd gathered for his induction into Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame, noting the inspiration and impact of his time supporting his grandmother in her supermarket in Bolivia, to today’s employees in Kansas City.

Carlos Antequera, Novel Capital, at the 2022 Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame ceremony; Photo courtesy of The Chancellor’s Promise

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by generous, intelligent, and mission-minded people throughout my entrepreneurial journey,” he said Antequera, serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Netchemiawho left in 2015. “This includes my current team at Novel Capital who are passionate about supporting young entrepreneurs.”

Novel Capital, which Antequera co-founded with Keith Harrington, is a fintech funding platform designed to facilitate immediate access to non-dilutive capital.

“Enterprise-focused organizations in Kansas City, such as the Helzberg Mentorship Program and Pipeline Entrepreneurs, have provided mentors and peers who challenge me and support my growth at various stages,” he added.

Antequera was recognized this week along with Darcy Howe, Founder of the KCRise Fund, and Fred Pryor, Founder of Pryor Learning Services, in the Junior Achievement Youth Learning Lab – both inducted as 2022 Business Hall of Fame honorees.

Fred and Jami Pryor at the 2022 Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame ceremony; Photo courtesy of The Chancellor’s Promise

The trio joins the ranks of Kansas City business icons such as Barnett and Shirley Helzberg, Gary Fish, Jeanette Prenger, Ewing Kauffman, John Thomson and Neal Sharma.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City and to be named along with so many of Kansas City’s business leaders,” said Antequera. “Junior Achievement’s work is exciting because it provides critical financial and entrepreneurial education for KC students. As a Latinx entrepreneur, I care deeply about the efforts JA is doing with Latinx kids to inspire them to become future business owners and entrepreneurs.”

The event is the largest fundraiser for the local organization Junior Achievement. Funds raised will be used in the metro area to inspire and prepare young people to succeed through real-world learning opportunities across the K-12 educational continuum, the group said.

click here to learn more about Junior Achievement.

Chris Goode, founder of Ruby Jeans Juicery, at the 2022 Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame ceremony

Alongside the trio of honorees, Chris Goode, founder of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, was honored with the 2022 Innovator of the Year Award.

The award is given to those who positively transform their industry, create jobs and opportunities, and apply innovation to solve critical social and economic problems.

2022 winner Goode now operates three Ruby Jean’s locations in the Metro – a flagship store on Troost Avenue, along with a space in Whole Foods Market near the UMKC campus and a newly opened store in Leawood – Supporting a growing thirst for his startup’s menu of handcrafted juices, smoothies, performance shakes and food.

“Chris Goode is a passionate entrepreneur who founded his company in 2015 in honor of his late grandmother, Ruby Jean. Goode has made it his life’s work to educate underrepresented communities and integrate sap culture into his hometown,” Junior Achievement said in an announcement of the award. “Ruby Jean’s has also started a pilot program with Kansas City Public Schools to provide fresh juice to three schools; This is the first program of its kind in the nation.”

Check out a brief photo gallery below, courtesy of Chancellor’s Promise and Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City.

This story is possible thanks to the support of Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundationa private, nonpartisan foundation that works with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create unusual solutions and empower people to create their futures and thrive.

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