ifridge has spent the last 6 months partnering with the NJ Tech Meetup in order to find ways to give back to a community that has been so kind to us while simultaneously helping to foster an even stronger entrepreneurial environment. Each month, we coach three entrepreneurs on their pitch, which they present in front of an audience at the Stevens Institute of Technology. But viewing the development of a community as a very long-term goal, we are also dedicated to setting up a better future. That’s why this month, instead of having traditional entrepreneurs pitching, we have selected teenage entrepreneurs. And what a fascinating twist it has been!
The HOPES charter school in Hoboken has done an excellent job at giving their students the creativity to create strong and original ideas as well as the confidence to believe that these ideas can be fleshed out and then executed. These students have done a wonderful job at identifying a real problem and people who want to see that problem solved (market analysis) as well as building solutions to that problem that are realistic and economically do-able (product development).
One student created a project called “Undercover Candy,” which aims to make candy disguised as everyday items, allowing kids to eat sweets anywhere they want. Another student had a great idea for an online comic book which allows the reader to make decisions in the story, thus affecting the outcome. There was another idea for a mobile app that helps diabetics structure their eating schedules. The list of creative projects goes on and on.
Helping these teenagers develop their ideas and build strong pitches has been a great pleasure. Refusing to see community growth has a quick process, by giving our time to high school students, we believe we have provided a tiny entrepreneurial boost for the future of New Jersey and the startup world as a whole.