Los Angeles, CA – May 26, 2023 – BUILD.org declared the winning high school team, Maje Studios, from STEM Academy of Hollywood, as the first place winner of the 2023 BUILDFest LA Youth Pitch Challenge hosted by Roku at their Santa Monica offices. The final round of the Challenge, which is designed to empower young entrepreneurs with real-life experiences, skills and an entrepreneurial mindset in the Los Angeles, saw twelve talented junior and senior high school students pitch their innovative business ideas to a panel of four VIP judges at BUILDFest LA on May 23rd. The judges were: Charles Choice, Director, Do-or-Dier Visionary Foundation; Colin McIntosh, CFO/COO, Revolt TV; Stacey Politi, Founder, Accomplice, Inc.; Paul Salazar, Luxury Estates Director, Paul Salazar Group.
The three Finalist teams who participated in the competition were: Team Clothing Vend-tures from Helen Bernstein High School in Hollywood; Maje Studios from STEM Academy of Hollywood; and The Unfold from Abraham Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights. All teams pitched their businesses live on May 23, after which the VIP judges announced that Maje Studios captured the title of 2023 BUILDFest LA Youth Pitch Challenge Champion. Maje Studios created a computer game named “Positive Forest” that fosters quality time between parents and their children.
The BUILDFest LA 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. Seventy local teams entered the competition in April, after which the top three teams competed at Roku’s offices for cash prizes.
Other highlights included class of 2014 BUILD alum, Esmeralda (Esme) Cortez Rosales, sharing her experiences with BUILD and the impact the program has made on her life’s trajectory since graduation. One highlight: Esme ran for public office in Oakland’s City Council in 2020 at the age of 23.
As the winner of the competition, Maje Studios were eligible for a cash prize of $2,000, in 2nd place was Clothing Vend-tures winning $1,000, the 3rd place winner was The Unfold winning $500. However, VIP Judge, Colin McIntosh, stunned the students and audience when he announced that Revolt TV would double the cash-prize winning for all three teams, sending our champions home with $4,000.
To learn more, please visit BUILDFest LA 2023 Youth Pitch Challenge
Founded in 1999, BUILD is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to use entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth from under-resourced communities to build Career success, Entrepreneurial Mindsets, and Opportunity. BUILD utilizes entrepreneurship education to elevate youth and propel them to academic and career success, while empowering them to become the CEOs of their own lives. BUILD offers programming in 53 cities across the country, has trained nearly 400 educators, and over 15,000 youth have participated in BUILD’s digital challenges and in-school entrepreneurship programming. For more information, visit www.build.org.