How these Philly high school students impressed Stitch CEO Jake Stein - Technical.ly Philly

Access

Mar. 29, 2017 10:56 am

How these Philly high school students impressed Stitch CEO Jake Stein

Stein judged Philadelphia's first Diamond Challenge, a teen business pitch competition with roots in Delaware. Here's what stood out to him.

The scene at the first Philadelphia Diamond Challenge, March 2017.

(Photo via Facebook)

This is a guest post by Stitch CEO Jake Stein.

This Saturday, I helped judge the first-ever Philadelphia Diamond Challenge Pitch Competition for high school entrepreneurs. A partnership between Coded by Kids, Benjamin’s Desk, and the Paul & Linda McConnell Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative at the University of Delaware, this event brought together 14 teams from the Greater Philadelphia area to compete for cash prizes in Business Concept and Social Venture categories. As a judge for the Business Concept track, I watched students present ideas that ranged  from sneaker ecommerce to dog treats to solar-powered tablets. To put it mildly, these kids had game.

The winning team was SteerSecure, from West Chester East High School, whose idea was a steering wheel cover that prevents car accidents from drowsy driving. The idea was impressive, with both a big market opportunity and the ability to make a huge social impact. They won $1,000.

SteerSecure’s execution was even stronger than their idea. They knew their pitch cold, had coordinated the entire thing down to matching accessories, and seamlessly handed back and forth between each other. They identified all of their key stakeholder groups and developed targeted, distinct value propositions for users, economic buyers, and influencers. This would have have been an impressive pitch for a team at any age, but it was even more mind blowing when I compare it to my high school business experience inadvertently committing mail fraud.

Frost Heave, from Freire Charter in Center City, a cross between a fantasy eSports league and social gaming network, was another incredible team. I’m not a gamer, but their pitch resonated with me because it was all about emotional connection. The two cofounders initially bonded playing games together online before they became partners on this project. They weaved the story of their product and go-to-market strategy like a well-executed raid on an enemy guild (fingers crossed that is a legit reference). It was a good reminder of the importance of emotion and storytelling in a pitch.

Advertisement

Watching all of the teams, I was overcome with a feeling of gratitude that none of them are starting ETL software companies. I do not envy their future competitors.

If you’re looking to get involved with the next generation of Philly entrepreneurs, reach out to Coded by Kids at info@codedbykids.com. The nonprofit is looking for volunteers for events on May 1 and 2 during Philly Tech Week 2017 presented by Comcast.

You must appreciate accurate, relevant and productive community journalism.  Support this sort of work from professional reporters with seasoned editors.  Become a Technical.ly member for $12 per month -30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

This Philly conference scans the horizon of what’s next in enterprise technology

Why tech experts so often struggle to become leaders — and what they can do about it

These 11 companies and leaders won 2019 PACT Enterprise Awards

SPONSORED

Philly

Why working with the University City Science Center was a game changer for 4 Philly startups

Philadelphia

Perpay

UX Designer

Apply Now
Chesterbrook, PA

Deacom

Inside Sales Representative

Apply Now
Horsham, PA

Penn Mutual

Software Engineer-Java

Apply Now

Websites, animations and games: 5 cool projects from Philly’s student tech project showcase

What is open science?

Hear former Google CEO Eric Schmidt share leadership lessons from his former ‘coach’

SPONSORED

Philly

Take a peek at the opportunities popping up at PromptWorks

Ambler, PA

IntegriChain

Data Engineer

Apply Now
Center City

Inspire

Product Manager – Sales Tools

Apply Now
Center City

Inspire

Member Experience Specialist

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!