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On Wednesday, May 17, youth participated in the final YouthBiz Forum held at Downing Street. It was a bittersweet event. As YouthBiz is expanding beyond Downing Street and into the communities that need it most, this was the last event held at this location. But, watching students showcase everything they’ve learned over the last three months was an inspiration and a great reminder of how impactful this program can be!
Throughout their time in YouthBiz, young people have blossomed into better leaders and speakers. At the same time, they’ve learned about the business cycle and the importance of market research. They have practiced communication and problem-solving strategies. And best of all, they have created something that they are truly passionate about.
During this culminating event, six AE (Aspiring Entrepreneur) businesses and two EE (Emerging Entrepreneur) businesses presented and sold products. At 3:30pm, students starting pouring into the YouthBiz building in Five Points one last time to make finishing touches to their products, perfect their booth display, and practice their pitches. Once 5:30pm rolled around, parents, friends, teachers, and business leaders from the Denver community rolled in to visit the Marketplace and vote for their favorite businesses. There were three evaluation categories for AE students: Best Business Pitch, Best Overall Business, and Best Visual Presentation. EE youth were vying for the title, Best Overall Business. Students were asked questions like, “What is your brand?” “How much does your unit cost?” “How long did it take you to make a batch?”
After the Marketplace, the staff tabulated the results and announced the winners:
- AE Best Business Pitch: Totes by Patrick
- AE Best Visual Presentation: Handy Helpers by Breanna and Shaylynn
- AE Best Overall Business Idea: Colorful Tea Coasters by Tania and Angelina
- EE Best Overall business: Natural Aromatherapy Bath Fizzies by Monique
A big thank you to everyone who came to support the youth, especially to Jake Calzavara from Anadarko, Karl Weber, a Startup Coach, Rebecca Laurie from DORA, and David Northrop for your support and great advice to the students! YouthBiz is beginning a new chapter, but the original, incredible mission will stay the same.