It’s not every day that your school is one of four chosen to participate in a globally connected entrepreneurial event. Thirty Roberto Clemente Community Academy Wildcats were selected by various team members to partake in a day filled with BIG IDEAS. Future Founders of America, an organization that prides itself on inspiring youth to create employment opportunities for themselves, partnered with Ernst and Young, a multinational professional services firm, to host the event.
The students were provided transportation from Clemente to downtown Chicago where they were served Lou Malnati’s pizza before being separated into groups with students from the other schools that were in attendance. After lunch, the fun continued. Each group, consisting of three to four students, was partnered with one or two Ernst and Young, EY, volunteers to get their entrepreneurial juices flowing and come up with a product to solve a problem. Amazing proposals developed from a very simple concept. From the brainstorm session, big ideas quickly emerged and the EY volunteers were there for support. As the ideas started rolling, students moved on to create a storyboard, a concept used in the business world to organize ideas into a business model to target the desired consumer. Once these plans were created it was time for the students to pitch their products. It was truly something to see the ideas and fine details that each group came up with in just a single hour come to life in front of the audience.
Our Wildcats collaborated on some pretty great inventions. One idea pitched was a phone application, USleep, which would allow the user to control when their social media accounts, applications, and other phone features would be accessible. Can you imagine how productive you would be if your Candy Crush or Facebook stopped working at a certain time of night? Another, named The Canopedic, was a bed with a canopy designed to produce the desired lighting, sounds, alarm settings, and comfort level of the user. Some other ideas pitched were the LullaBuddy, The Smart Bed, The EyeSleep, and The Sleeping Helmet to name just a few. The humor and presentation skills that our students exhibited while pitching these ideas in a crowd of strangers was inspiring!
With postsecondary and career exploration being such a huge aspect of student growth here at Clemente, it is exciting to know there may be a few entrepreneurs among us.
Ernst and Young. Entreprenuership, http://www.ey.com/us/en/about-us/entrepreneurship. Accessed 7 October 2017. (Ernst and Young Coporation)
Future Founders of America. About, http://futurefounders.com/about/. Accessed 7 October 2017. (Future Founders)