6/24/2019 Company News

Tortoise Awards 2019 Young Entrepreneurs Scholarships


LEAWOOD, Kan. – June 24, 2019 – Tortoise has announced that Sage Offutt of Navarre Beach, Fla., Sakshi Kulkarni of Friendswood, Texas, and Ethan Cregan of Strasburg, Ohio are the 2019 recipients of the annual Tortoise Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship Awards. The scholarships are designed to assist deserving students in their academic endeavors and encourage an entrepreneurial mindset to create innovative products, processes and solutions that make a positive impact on society.

“We are pleased to award scholarships to these deserving recipients for their educational pursuits,” said Tortoise Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Birzer. “These students have demonstrated tremendous entrepreneurial spirit, one of Tortoise’s core values and a key component of the firm’s history and future.”

Tortoise 2019 Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship Recipients

Sage Offutt

Sage Offutt will be a freshman at Florida State University and plans to major in Biomedical Physics with a dual major in Mathematics.

When Sage was eleven, she started Sage Paddle Company, a paddleboard and kayak rental company in Navarre, Fla. Her parents gave her the start-up money to purchase six paddleboards, and within three weeks Sage  paid her parents back in full. She built her company to exceed expectations and now has an inventory of 175 rental units consisting of paddleboards, kayaks, bikes and scooters.

Sage has a passion to continue to build her company to be known for creating experiences and memories for her customers. She has seen how Sage Paddle Company can directly impact her community and wants to use the knowledge and skills she will learn in college to focus even more on her company and continue to make it successful.

Sakshi Kulkarni

From a young age, Sakshi noticed her female peers losing interest in the STEM program at her school. She felt the program was not tailored as well for girls as it was for boys. However, she had a passion for engineering, so she stuck with the program and followed her dreams, and even joined the robotics team at her school.

After seeing the lack of interest in engineering in her own class, Sakshi created EngineerGear, a one-week elementary engineering summer camp. She wanted to provide a low-cost camp for low-income families to send their children to in order to learn about engineering and the STEM program at a young age.

Sakshi will be a freshman at the University of Texas and plans to major in mechanical engineering with a focus in robotics. She would like to work for a small engineering business or create her own. She also has a passion for technology, and wants to use technology and engineering together to impact the world.

Ethan Cregan

Two years ago, Ethan Cregan started his own brand, ECregs Outdoors (ECO), an outdoor clothing brand that is centered on his love for adventure and the outdoors. Even though ECO is still in its early stages, Ethan has big dreams for it. He wants his friends and campus to wear his brand, and grow his brand’s image of living life to the fullest by seeking new adventures with style.

Ethan will be a freshman at Kent State University, but hopes to transfer to College of Charleston for the spring semester where he wishes to study business and hopes to make connections with fellow entrepreneurs during his college career.

About Tortoise Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship Program                                                                                                                       

The Tortoise Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship Program was established in 2012 in celebration of Tortoise’s 10-year anniversary. The program recognizes the challenges and rewards of the entrepreneurial spirit and encourages the next generation of curious, persistent and passionate entrepreneurs. The Tortoise Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship Program awards three annual, non-renewable scholarships valued at $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000. Applicants must (i) be a resident of the United States who attends or plans to attend a full-time undergraduate course of study toward a bachelor’s degree, or (ii) be a full-time student seeking a bachelor’s program in the United States. All applicants must also meet certain academic and college entrance exam scores. 

About Tortoise

Tortoise invests in essential assets – those assets and services that are indispensable to the economy and society. With a steady wins approach and a long-term perspective, Tortoise strives to make a positive impact on clients and communities. For additional information, please visit tortoiseadvisors.com

Contact information:


Pam Kearney, Investor Relations, (866) 362-9331, pkearney@tortoiseadvisors.com