AC Teen Entrepreneurs Pitch Ideas in ELEVATE Competition

Posted on February 2nd, 2021 by acsrochester

 

Eleven enterprising teens pitched creative business ideas from athletic clothing and GPS stickers to affordable rental housing, platforms for mental health, script sharing, and inventors, and even genetically modified fish in the ELEVATE competition at Allendale Columbia School on January 21st, 2021.

In the culminating activity for AC’s semester-long Essentials of Entrepreneurship class, taught by the Director of the AC Center for Entrepreneurship, Amy Oliveri, students learn to develop the mindset and skill set necessary, using design thinking, to turn ideas into viable products, services, and businesses. The class covers the fundamentals of thinking like an entrepreneur, coming up with new business ideas, attracting investors, marketing their business, and managing revenues and expenses. 

Judges Rupa Thind (Associate Director of the Albert J. Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at RIT), Tony Tepedino (AC Dean of Student Life), and Julie Barrett (AC Welcome Desk Associate), awarded Luca Palomaki ’24 first place for “ScriptArena”, an online platform for script sharing, writing, collaboration, and licensing. Second place was awarded to Myles Wilson ’21 for his “Simple Living” affordable work-for-rent housing concept. Olivia Fries ’23 and her “GPX” GPS stickers for locating household items earned third place honors.

“I love acting, theater, movies, and TV, and I know it’s hard to develop a script and get it produced. I thought ScriptArena was a pretty good idea that I could implement quickly and pitch with enthusiasm,” Luca related. “I usually have a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head, and this class helped me figure out how I might be able to develop those ideas into real businesses that could maybe make some money and help people.”

The two-minute pitches were evaluated based on how well students conveyed their project’s value proposition, viability research, competitors, definition and marketing to target customer segments, cost and revenue structures, implementation timeline, and social responsibility.

The other participants offered ideas that also could potentially impact their defined areas of need:

  • Greg & Jayden: Athletic clothing line
  • Evelyn: Mental health salon – Providing education and mental health training to hair stylists, makeup artists, and nail techs to provide people with an everyday safe space
  • Cynara: “Gender Forward” – An online site and app to empower and educate people of all ages about an array of issues regarding gender.
  • Natalia: “HND Book” – An app that specialized in providing students with mental health resources, including meditation sessions, advice, podcasts, etc.
  • Jake & Cameron: Genetically modified plastic eating fish to solve plastic pollution in our oceans
  • Lai – An app to connect young inventors with investors to be able to bring a product to market

“The ELEVATE pitch competition has been a fun way to focus the students on not just learning about entrepreneurship but really developing a problem-solving, entrepreneurial mindset and putting it into practice as an entrepreneur does,” Oliveri said. “They learn that these concepts can be applied to help them take any idea they have in their work, school, or home life and turn it into something meaningful.”

The Essentials of Entrepreneurship class provides an introduction to Allendale Columbia’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which launched in 2017 with a commitment to being a hub for community problem solving and social innovation. Its mission is to “create opportunities for our students/participants to make an impact on the world at an unprecedented level by learning to adapt to a constantly evolving world, connecting globally, and carving their own path. This authentic way of thinking and working develops a universally applicable and transferable mindset and skillset.”

Students can also explore entrepreneurship through the Center’s other courses as well as offerings from the AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation. Those courses include Design Thinking, Making An Impact (Locally, Globally), Production and Design, and an Entrepreneurs as Innovators Cohort in which students build upon an entrepreneurial, problem-solving mindset and skill set to bring their solutions to market.

A recording of the pitch competition is viewable on YouTube.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Upper School

The Racial Equity Change Process

Posted on November 18th, 2020 by lbrown
Day 19 of the Equity Challenge highlights the potential of true inclusion.  The video Inclusion Starts with I includes the following facts:
  • For every $100 a woman makes, a man makes $258.
  • Women of color hold 3% of C-suite positions.
  • 7 in 10 working fathers want to work more flexibly.
  • People with Disabilities are significantly more likely to experience unfair treatment at work than non-disabled people.
  • Transgender people are twice as licely to be unemployed and four times as likely to live in poverty.
  • 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue each year.
  • Team performance improves 50% when everybody feels included.

DAY 19: THE RACIAL EQUITY CHANGE PROCESS
We must continue to challenge ourselves to do more, to increase our awareness of injustice, and to actively step up to build equity in our networks and communities. This Challenge has offered tools and resources to advance racial equity. Where you put your time and effort in this work is up to you.
Change begins with each individual, and grows with intention and activism through networks, organizations, practices, and policies that advocate for inclusion and equity for all. Listening matters. Data matters. Representation matters. Actions matter.
We are in this together, and together we can make a difference. What do you plan to do next?
DID YOU KNOW…
In the human services nonprofit sector in the U.S.,
90% of CEOs and 90% of Board of Director Chairs are white.
Board make-up impacts how it functions and the decisions it makes.
Inclusive, representative Board and staffing can advance policies and
decisions that support a racially equitable business and culture.
Option 1: Read Anti-Racism Defined
Option 3: Watch Inclusion Starts with I
The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge does not support nor endorse any advertisements associated with the above content.
Questions to Consider for Self-Reflection:
  • What one small shift can you do to strive to be more anti-racist?
  • How do you think policies can be hidden or difficult to see in operation?
Local Ways to Get Involved:
Share What You Learned:
Use the images below to share what you learned about race and equity today, and be sure to include #ROCequity.
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Posted in: Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Learning in a New Light Showcased at Innovation Day

Posted on March 8th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Innovation Day on March 15th is dedicated to all the new and unconventional ways students, teachers, and the AC community teach and learn, shaking things up from how it’s always been done. Anchored by a pitch competition for prospective young entrepreneurs and a science fair, the event will include interactive workshops, speakers, a gallery walk, and performances. (more…)

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Posted in: Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Invent

Design Thinking and Innovating Solutions in 1st Grade S.T.E.M. Class

Posted on March 18th, 2015 by ssorrentino

Our 1st Grade S.T.E.M. students at Allendale Columbia School have begun their unit on Physical Mechanisms. In this real world context, our young students build structures incorporating gears and pulley systems, learn how to solve for mechanical challenges, identify driver and follower gears, and develop teamwork and critical thinking skills. Students first learn the correct terminology of all the mechanical parts as well as how each part functions.

Gr1_Mech1

Throughout this hands-on unit of study, students investigate the effects of friction, energy, force, and speed along with developing design thinking skills including working with constraints and real world, “unexpected function change requests” for innovating solutions (viable prototypes) to the problems posed.

In addition to developing skills in collaboration and problem-solving, our students also experience project management, documentation, data collection, and reporting out results – just like real engineers.  More than learning ABOUT engineering, our young students are learning to BE engineers!

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Posted in: First Grade, Highlights, Lower School