August 20, 2014

PEOPLE TO WATCH

Trendsetters: Entrepreneurs

Mike Vogel | 3/1/2009

Jessica Cervantes, 18, grew up hearing family members dream about having their own businesses. She dreamed too, but she was leaning toward becoming a doctor until she signed up for an entrepreneurship program at Ferguson High in Miami. For her program project, she invented, after many hours of experimentation, “Popsy Cakes,” cupcakes stuck on an edible cookie stick, a less messy alternative to the regular frosting-covered cupcakes.

Jessica Cervantes
Jessica Cervantes [Photo: Eileen Escarda]

Last year, she beat out 25,000 students in the program nationally to win the OppenheimerFunds/National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York. A highlight: A $10,000 prize to seed her business. The worst part: Presenting to the judges at the competition. She says she’s nervous talking face-to-face with strangers.

Cervantes, who hopes to attend the University of Miami next year, is selling small quantities through her website, popsycakes.com, in her spare time. She’s working with a Four Seasons chef to perfect the product, has applied for a patent and, through the foundation, is working with a lawyer on licensing rights. Says Cervantes, “I fell in love with the idea of owning your own business.”

Tags: Trendsetters

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Balloon sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts will blow you away
Balloon sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts will blow you away

If you've ever been impressed by a balloon animal, prepare to be blown away by a new art exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg made up entirely of balloons.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Should the Feds stop sending so much surplus military weapons and armored trucks to local police?

  • Yes, enough already
  • No, every force should be prepared for the worst

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe