For three amazing days, students in The Startup Studio’s Learn to Start program came together for The 2020 Orlando Summit in Entrepreneurship. At The Summit, students had the opportunity to network with other students from other schools, experience mentorship from our Global Ambassadors, and tackle one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The first evening began with dinner, giving students the time to talk with the Global Ambassadors, school leaders, and guest speakers who were at their tables, and offering them the unique opportunity to grow their relationship network. Then, to kick off the evening, The Startup Studio’s founder and CEO, Gary Conroy, addressed the room overviewing the exciting milestones of the past several years as well as sharing the upcoming growth of the company. This was followed by short remarks from Steve Lyng, the Head of School at Windermere Preparatory School, Adam Marshall, one of our Global Ambassadors, and Huiying “Amy” Ni, a student in the LTS program at North Broward Preparatory School. Shawn Seipler, the founder and CEO of Clean the World, shared his inspiring entrepreneurial journey and his heart to help others, and at the end of the evening, two teams of students pitched a product that they were working on developing and received feedback from the audience to help them iterate and improve upon their idea.
Day two got off to a fast and incredible start as students had the amazing opportunity to hear from Harris Rosen, the founder and COO of Rosen Hotels, who spoke of his passion for people and the importance of hard work and loving what you do. He was followed by our keynote speaker, Hernan Tagliani, who shared his entrepreneurial journey and inspired students with his talk. The afternoon was spent working on creating a “small start” solution to one of the UN’s SDGs. Students from both schools, along with a Global Ambassador mentor, brainstormed and developed ways to address the SDG they found most compelling. The evening continued with two special guest speakers: Dr. Cameron Ford from UCF’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Ridvan Aliu, Founder & CEO of EDUonGo and Kiwi. Dr. Ford spoke on the differences between business and entrepreneurship and shared an activity that helped students develop compelling stories for their pitches. Rivan Aliu told his entrepreneurial journey and offered advice on how to start a successful software company.
On day three, students heard from the Assistant General Manager of the Rosen Plaza, Jay Finkelstein, about the imperative of customer service, and the role it plays in a successful business.
Then, with that in mind, student made final preparations for their team pitches.
After lunch, each team had the opportunity to pitch their “small start” solution to our panel of investors who gave them real and powerful feedback, culminating in the announcement of the winning team: American Synthetic Polymer Company.
What an incredible and powerful experience this was! From experienced and compelling speakers, to the opportunity to showcase their own unique ideas, students were challenged to grow in new ways. We can’t wait for next year!