Lindsay Cates Lindsay Cates
Senior Manager, Communications and Strategy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


September 29, 2021


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual Dream Big Awards, presented by Spectrum Reach, celebrate the achievements of small businesses and honors their contributions to America’s economic growth.  

One of the nine business achievement award categories recognizes the most promising young entrepreneurs. The Young Entrepreneur Achievement Award goes to a small business owner, founder or co-founders, aged between 14 and 30, who have attained outstanding business achievement. Read more about the three young entrepreneurs in the running below. 

The winner will be announced at the Dream Big Awards Ceremony, part of The Big Week for Small Business virtual event, on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 5:00pm ET. Learn more about the other Dream Big Award categories and finalists here

Young Entrepreneur Achievement Award Finalists: 

Embark Trucks, San Francisco, CA 

Embark Trucks co-founders Alex Rodrigues and Brandon Moak have achieved a number of firsts in the self-driving truck industry: Embark was the first to complete a coast-to-coast drive for an automated truck, the first to reach 100,000 miles driven, the first to establish dedicated transfer hubs for interstate autonomous freight movement, and the first to demonstrate work zone detection and reaction on interstates. 

The technology also helps solve for the national truck driver shortage, and will complement today’s existing trucking workforce.  

“Self-driving trucks hold the promise of creating a safer, more sustainable, and more efficient trucking market, one that will benefit shippers, truckers, and consumers.” - Embark Trucks 

TaxValet, Henderson, NV 

The idea for TaxValet formed while CEO Alex Oxford was working for a sales tax software start-up and began to realize that many clients were purchasing the software only to become frustrated that it wouldn't handle each and every aspect of sales tax for them.  

Oxford then set out to create one company that could handle all aspects of U.S. sales tax compliance and help business owners get back to running the business they loved and not getting bogged down with the details of sales tax.  

“I am optimistic that we will leave a lasting positive impression on the state and local taxation industry, and that we will transform negative emotions into something positive for our clients, partners, and each other.” - Alex Oxford, CEO, TaxValet 

Trashbots, Austin, TX

Trashbots Co-Founders Rohit and Sidharth Srinivasan got the inspiration to create Trashbots when teaching at orphanages in India. Due to lack of resources, the children could not learn the latest skills in technology, and that inspired the brothers to create a platform to teach STEM education globally. 

Trashbots takes an innovative approach to providing a low-cost, super-effective way to teach 21st-century computer science, robotics, math, science, and creativity.  

“Our proudest moment was when...Trashbots had managed to land its largest customer when Racine Unified School District had decided to purchase a Trashbots unit for every single 6th grader in its district.” - Trashbots 

Register for the Dream Big Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 5:00pm ET to find out who will win the award for young entrepreneur business achievement! 

About the authors

Lindsay Cates

Lindsay Cates

Lindsay is a senior manager on the communications and strategy team. She previously worked as a writer and editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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