Today I got to watch 3 teams from the YELL class, Coquitlam Open Learning‘s Entrepreneurship 12 Course, practice their presentations for the YELL finals happening this Saturday.
Students from Coquitlam, Richmond and West Vancouver will compete again this year, at YELL Canada’s 3rd Annual Venture Challenge – “A Dialogue in Youth Entrepreneurship”.
Emily Naing, one of last year’s students from the Coquitlam team, that went to the finals (and came a close second to the overall winner), started us off with a little motivation and she answered questions about her experience last year. Emily is continuing the development of the pitch her team gave… with the help of a $300,000 grant that her team got after the finals. She spoke about how 2nd place actually pushed her team to prove themselves even more than if they got the 1st place spot. I still remember the email her team sent the night of the finals:
This is SWAVE from the venture challenge. We were so impacted by the connections made today that we are determined to keep moving forward with our idea. We hope to enter more business competitions and ventures and hope to actually develop a prototype with adequate research. If there are any connections you can refer us to, or if you (the founders) would like to support us in our journey with this product, please reply to our email.
Thank you so much,
Founders of Swave
Watching the presentations, I realize how important it is for us to give students authentic opportunities to first develop, then present their ideas. Although all the groups had things to work on, there was obvious passion and interest in doing a great presentation.
I think the competition is healthy. I also think the idea of presenting to real investors and/or business school profs, increases the stakes. And I think that we need to proved authentic avenues for students to present beyond the walls of our schools.
Good luck to all the teams on Saturday!