Today was awesome. These young entrepreneurs were so focused on fine-tuning their presentations, practicing over and over, and writing out notecards like their lives depended on it. We worked and practiced all morning and the anticipation for the SuperBizCamp Business Plan Competition was palpable.
Before lunch, each team presented to each other and voted on which of the partnerships would represent the group in the competition. It was difficult with so many excellent business ideas and everyone having worked so hard, but each team finally did. This was a good opportunity in and of itself to get a glimpse of some of the tough choices required in business.
I was so impressed by the variety and creativity of each of these partnerships business and charitable causes they selected:
- B.E.A.R.S. (Bears Encouraging Awareness Regarding Safety), a buy one-get one teddy bear program, presented by Sterling and Courtney, to provide teddy bears to abused children.
- Cascara, scented sunscreen, presented by Peyton and Uto, to benefit skin cancer research.
- Clique In, a new social media site to find social events in your area, presented by Gary and Simon, benefitting ASPCA to end animal abuse.
- Dot 2 Dot, a job matching website, presented by Izzy and James, to help Seattle Foundation to aid local employment efforts.
- Grenna Blics decorative blind decals, presented by Chris and Samantha, to help provide cataract surgeries in third world countries.
- ITS (In The Spotlight), an artist promotion site, presented by Ethan and Nolen, to benefit Art & Fashion and SavingMusic, which helps underprivileged schools arts programs.
- L.I.C. (Leadership Integrity Courage), a T-Shirt company to support Veterans and show pride and gratitude for their service, presented by Blake, to benefit Veterans.
- Maji Safi water bottles, presented by Tracy and Steven, to provide clean water in Africa.
- Part II, designer fundraising bracelets, presented by Alyssa and Drew, to help give the homeless a second chance at success.
- PineappleBanana, a script analysis website for aspiring writers, presented by Uri and Tommy, and benefitting Teach For America for educational equity.
- Salvaged Wallet, wallets made of recycled materials, presented by Darian and Johnny, to help provide sanitation in third world countries.
- Tea Day, presented by Madeleine, to help provide clean water in Africa.
We had round one of our SuperBizCamp Business Plan Competition this afternoon, where each partnership presented before their team and our three judges. Following their 8-minute presentation, each business partnership fielded questions and received feedback to further refine their presentations and continue to teach the finer points. Every judge agreed that every single business that these partnerships presented could easily succeed if they pursued them.
Following dinner, we returned to our main room and the five semi-finalists were announced. It came down to Cascara, Clique In, Dot 2 Dot, Grenna Blics and Part II. Each team did an exceptional job presenting and their scores were all within a couple points of each other but Grenna Blics won out, taking home the $3,000 seed-money prize.
That evening was our last at SuperBizCamp. It was bittersweet indeed and many tears were shed, as students reflected on the week, their new friendships, their futures together and their impending separation to return home. I still cannot believe the powerful connections this group of teenagers made in just one week. The teens determined to have a reunion in one year and to encourage each other to pursue in their businesses in the meantime.
Graduation was awesome, of course, and more tears were shed by students and parents alike. I expect to see each of these teen entrepreneurs on the cover of Forbes someday. I am looking forward to next year when I can see what they’ve accomplished and hope to get updates in the meantime. Until then, keep your eyes open for these products and help support these young entrepreneurs!