SBA SOUTH CAROLINA DISTRICT OFFICE
Release Date: 03/26/2008 Contact: Anna Huntley
Spartanburg Native and Owner of Carbon Fiber Car Hood Distributor
Is 2008 SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year for South Carolina
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Chris, 23, is the 2008 U.S.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Young Entrepreneur of the
Chris is owner and CEO of Illstreet, the largest distributor
of carbon fiber car hoods in
the United States. He was nominated by
Jill Burroughs, Director of the Clemson Regional Small Business
Development Center, and Elaine Smith, owner of Benchmark Outsourcing Group.
"Ever since I can remember, I've been trying to sell,
trade or buy things," Chris wrote in a paper for
University. After receiving his own computer in sixth grade,
he developed his first successful Web site. By high school,
combined his business acumen and love of computer code and -
driven by his desire for expensive new car tires - started designing
sites for businesses on a referral basis.
In 2000, while he was still in high school, Chris
a non-profit regional Web forum for the advancement of motor sports. In
January 2004, as a freshman at Clemson University, he transformed
the forum into Illstreet, a small Web-based company selling
carbon fiber car hoods - a $39 million industry - and Wings West body kits. This past summer, Illstreet
caught the attention of USA Today, which consulted
an article on the rising cost of carbon fiber; his comments
ran in USA Today on June 6, 2007.
Illstreet continues to not only thrive, but also grow. Harkening
back to Chris's early entrepreneurial roots, Illstreet
acquired a Web consulting company to engage a new customer market.
Through Illstreet's new consulting sector, Chris
businesses with Web site design and hosting services.
Chris graduated with honors from Clemson in December
Chris will be honored at the SBA South Carolina
District Office's small business awards ceremony, part of the
Small Business on Tuesday, April 1, at the Columbia Metropolitan
All SBA programs and services are provided on a non-discriminatory
# # #