This morning I had the privilege of being one of the judges for Roland Park Middle School’s elevator pitch competition. About 40 seventh grade students are enrolled in an entrepreneurship course, designed by N.F.T.E., a non-profit organization that I proudly volunteer for. More info on them can be found here.
Each student presented their 30 to 60 second business idea in front of a panel of judges, some nervously speaking in front of a classroom, conveniently forgetting to mention the name of their company. But mostly, there were others speaking proudly & enthusiastically about their idea.
Creative in their own way, “B-more Bubbly” is a natural & locally sourced bath products company founded by two girls with the exact personality that fits the name. “The Kleb” featured two boys who are artists who want to create a space & platform for other artists to share their work. And “Getting Through This Together” is a non-profit founded by two girls, focusing on creating a safe space for young kids with mental health disorders to bond.
The beauty behind each presentation was that they were each inspired by their own ideas, some of whom partnered with friends who have a strength that could amplify the business if they join together.
These kids believe 1000000% in their idea. They are in this prime time of their lives where they have no fear and anything and everything is available to them. Which made me think of the bazillion ideas I why I’ve been hesitant to express them. When did I lose this enthusiasm?!
I left with about 5 new business cards. From seventh graders. They were more prepared than I was as I quickly remembered that I need to order my own business cards. #fail
Times have changed, and I’m excited for their our future. What’s important now, is that we continue to nurture these kids and give them feedback and the tools to help them cultivate their craft.
In the span of just under 2 hours, I was reminded of how important it is to voice your idea. Even if it sucks. There’s no use of keeping it to yourself when there are people to support and encourage you to follow your dreams, or at the very least, encourage you to think & dream bigger.