After weeks of preparation, four youth-owned businesses are ready to pitch at Denver Startup Week’s Youth Pass Pitch Challenge. All are hoping to make it to the Denver Startup Week Pitch Challenge Semi-Finals where they’ll compete head-to-head with adult entrepreneurs for six coveted spots in the Pitch Challenge Finals!
The businesses couldn’t be more different. Luke Aden, a senior at Dakota Ridge High School, hopes to impress the judges with his business Luke Aden Photography. Additional capital will enable Luke to expand his services, particularly in the field of sports photography. Mia Hayden and Melanie Zhou, seniors at ThunderRidge High School, will pitch their business Oasis Mental Health, a nonprofit that sells t-shirts and other merchandise with proceeds benefitting mental health resources in several Douglas County and Denver schools. Shouken Lopez, a junior at Northfield High School, will ask for support for his business The Teen Entrepreneur. Through this online class, Shouken offers entrepreneurs of all ages the knowledge to start their own drop-shipping company. Finally, Jack McConnell, a student attending Boulder High School, will pitch SmartDel Solutions, a secure lock box solution company designed for modern-world deliveries.
Each entrepreneur had a chance to practice at a dress rehearsal and feedback session. The rehearsal mirrored the final event where students have seven minutes to pitch their business and a panel of judges have five minutes to ask questions. Young Americans Center for Financial Education and Junior Achievement recruited adult business leaders to observe the presentations, to provide helpful advice, and to ask tough questions.
Anna Leer, Vice President of YouthBiz was impressed. “I’ve seen these businesses grow an incredible amount over the last few weeks,” she said. “They are ready for Denver Startup Week!”
Watch Luke, Mia, Melanie, Shouken, and Jack pitch their ideas on Tuesday, September 17 at Commons on Champa. The competition begins at 1:00pm. May the best pitch win!