A few weeks ago, YEC members Alex Whitmore of Taza Chocolate and Enrico Palmerino of SmartBooks, along with YEC Community Manager Cassandra Poulin, sat on a pitch panel for The Possible Project's student pitching event.
The Possible Project (TPP) is an after school program that teaches entrepreneurship to high school students. The students who participated were Level One (L1), and had been working on their business ideas for five weeks leading up to the event. Currently, they're preparing for the next event -- The Possible Project Marketplace where the L1 businesses will showcase their products to the public.
The afternoon of the event, the 12 venture teams pitched their businesses. They had four minutes to discuss nine business topics, and six minutes for a Q&A session afterwards.
The Pitch Panel was intended to provide students with external feedback from successful entrepreneurs along with reflection and guidance on their business concepts. Along with a platform to ask for a monetary investment in their work -- up to $150 from TPP -- the exposure to professionals within the Boston community allowed them to practice their public speaking and meet role models first hand.
"TPP is a great environment that is so positive and helpful. Preparing for the pitch panel was hard, but it's your business! You know it like the back of your hand. My experience with TPP has been rewarding and also fun. I truly believe that my business will go far," said Tamika Daniels, Founder of Mika's Beauty Box, who pitched.
"The pitch panel was a defining moment that allowed me to see all the wonderful business opportunities within my reach. The panelists were so friendly and encouraging," recounted Zahyyeh Abu-Rubieh, Co-Founder of Jammin', who also pitched at the event.
Said YEC member Palmerino: "The Possible Project is really doing something incredible -- not only are the students dreaming and coming up with business ideas, but most importantly they are learning all the valuable skills to put an executable plan in place and take action on it! I really enjoyed seeing their different business models and am happy to have contributed to their funding in a small way."
From student Leratu Makene-Goyau, who started Africa Within Reach: "The Possible Project has provided me a way to start and grow my business and I'm forever grateful for that. They provide us with useful tools and tips that businesses wouldn't want to tell you because they are the secrets to success. The day of my pitch panel I was extremely nervous and was actually scared of going into the fish bowl. [But] one thing I've learned from lessons and talking to the staff at TPP is to be confident in your work. So I decided to do just that and my pitch was an absolute success."
The students involved in TPP are aspiring entrepreneurs trying to follow their dreams. They've used money raised to pay for family bills, college applications and one student even started his business to buy groceries for his family
YEC members, if you'd like to give back to students or others in need of entrepreneurial inspiration, get involved in our Mentorship Network.