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Mentoring Student Entrepreneurs at Da Vinci Design

Eleventh and 12th grade students from the Da Vinci Design Entrepreneurship pathway recently participated in a three-month mentorship program with BUILD culminating in a Diversity Design Challenge. As an entrepreneurship program for high school students, BUILD mentors work closely with high school students to help them develop their own small businesses and become the CEO of their own lives. At a recent pitch event akin to Shark Tank, Da Vinci Design students presented product solutions that would solve everyday challenges in their communities. A few of the product ideas pitched to a panel of community leaders included Sicklings, Crafts-On-The-Go, and Sunshine Inc.

The Sickling is a cute stuffed animal that demonstrates to children what various diseases or illnesses look like. Children with medical implications can use the bear to better understand their condition, mitigate their fears, and help them to feel safe.

Crafts-On-The-Go is an adjustable tray that mounts on a wheelchair to help wheelchair users comfortably perform tasks. The tray can hold various items, but was designed with the artist in mind. The tray can hold an artist’s palette, paint, and paintbrushes.

Sunshine Inc. is an alarm clock that gently awakens the user in a relaxing manner. The alarm clock uses an app to turn the light on over a period of time, which acts to mimic a sunrise. Simultaneously, the device diffuses a citrus oil that students researched to help people wake from sleep.

The panel of non-profit organizations, engineers, and other community leaders provided valuable insight and feedback. In the upcoming months, students will focus on two-to-four of the product ideas and launch them into small businesses. They will refine their products, create a business plan, and flex their marketing skills.

Thank you BUILD for your time, partnership, and mentorship!

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