Berkeley, CA – May 23, 2023 – BUILD.org declared the winning high school team, Hydro Planter, from Lionel Wilson Prep in Oakland, CA, as the first place winner of the 2023 BUILDFest Bay Youth Pitch Challenge. The final round of the Challenge, which is designed to empower young entrepreneurs with real-life experiences, skills and an entrepreneurial mindset in the Bay Area, saw 16 talented high school freshman and sophomore students pitch their innovative business ideas to a panel of four VIP judges at BUILDFest Bay on May 19th. The judges were: Alvina Antar, CIO at Okta; Manny Medina, CEO at Outreach; Fabrizio Mejia, Associate Vice Chancellor, UC Berkeley; Mark A. Mackey, Director of Global Technology PMO, Strategy and Digital Transformation, Nike; Katherine Vega Stultz, President and CEO, Ocelot Bio.
The BUILDFest Bay Area Youth Pitch Competition is a platform for young entrepreneurs from schools and community-based organizations to compete in BUILD’s Design Challenge where they create entrepreneurial solutions to everyday challenges for people in their communities. Highlighting BUILD’s mission to arm youth with real world skills, the competition aims to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills in high school students, paving the way for a more prosperous future. Forty local teams entered the competition in April, after which the top four teams competed at UC Berkeley for cash prizes.
As the winner of the competition, Hydro Planter received a cash prize of $2,000, in 2nd place was Sun Sensors winning $1,000, the 3rd place winner was The Helpers winning $750, and the Philanthropy Award was given to Grippy Shield winning $500. For more information about BUILDFest Bay Area 2023 Youth Pitch Challenge, please visit https://build.org/california/buildfestbay2023/.