Last week the students from Another Course to College and Charlestown High participated in their second Showcase. Judges from notable companies such as PayPal, Reebok and Microsoft gave their advice and critiques on the presentations, helping students to refine their ideas in preparation for the Business Plan Competition at Northeastern University this June. Students spent the afternoon before the judges arrived practicing on the stage. This was the first time these students had used PowerPoint in a presentation. During the Business Skills Workshops over the past few weeks, students learned the basics of prototyping, marketing, and PowerPoint, which all clearly came through here, as the students seemed comfortable and relaxed on stage.
At ACC, six different teams presented their products: YaBeeps, My Everything, Party Nation, Beeders, Pocket Socks, and Super Movie Pack. All of the teams were in the running for winning for the Showcase, but YaBeeps managed to inch their way to the finish line with their creative pitch and enthusiastic delivery. Other highlights included Party Nation’s prototype demonstration, in which they attempted to toss balls into hoops that were attached to each others’ heads and the judges enjoyed Beeders’ prototype of beads attached to headphones, which one judge also pointed out would prevent the headphones from being tangled.
At Charlestown, five different teams delivered presentations: The Spark, Shorty Gloss, Econizer, UPhone, and Team Achieve. This Showcase once again led Econizer to first place (they won Showcase One as well) as they were organized, had a usable prototype and answered judges’ questions with dexterity. Hopefully they continue their winning streak all the way to the Business Plan Competition! Other teams also showed off their ideas such as UPhone’s prototype that protects your cell phone from rain, snow and glare and Team Achieve’s pillow with a stretchable band to put on any sort of chair for back support. (One judge declared that she expected a package when the product was ready!)
In between each team’s presentations, Ayele Shakur, BUILD’s Regional Executive Director, and Ryan Oliver, Site Director, made announcements to parents about what they can expect from the next three years of BUILD and how they can support their kids in the Business Plan Competition. Ayele passed out tickets for the parents to sell to friends and family in order to pack the Northeastern University auditorium and show their support (and all the money goes to the New York City trip this August).