A Tie Between Budding Entrepreneurs

With the chance to win up to $1,000, students brought their A-game to this fast-paced new-venture competition!

On August 26, 2023, Mindset & Milestones held a virtual pitch competition: a dynamic challenge designed to bring together budding entrepreneurs and social innovators to pitch startup ideas. 

To watch the pitch competition, click the video below!

Students, grades 6-12, had the opportunity to…

  • Learn essential business and entrepreneurship fundamentals
  • Network and collaborate with a community of high-achieving students interested in entrepreneurship
  • Hone their business analysis, presentation, design thinking, and ideating skills
  • Present their pitch to be judged by seasoned industry professionals!

The finalists also received one-on-one mentorship prior to the competition from Diondraya Taylor, the founder of Mindset & Milestones, and the sponsor of the competition. 

3 finalists were chosen out of 50 applicants: Anai Toledo (she/her), Jaydee Phung (she/her), and King North (they/he pronouns).

The competition ended in a tie for second place, between 2 of the finalists, King North and Jaydee Phung, who each received $250 for their exciting ideas. Both are college freshman but began developing their ideas during their senior year of high school. Additionally, the students are involved with the organization Girls Equity Movement, where they have had the opportunity to build their business ventures. The videos below are their original pitch submissions.

King North developed the idea, North Star Creations, a program built to inspire and support students on their artistic journey. King envisions a space, affordable and accessible for all students to have access to materials, resources, workshops, and more, to be able to flourish as young artists. They hope to partner with nonprofit organizations, arts and crafts stores, and school districts, in order to grow their vision. 

Jaydee Phung presented her idea for a wedding planning business that focuses on working with couples who come from various cultural backgrounds, helping them incorporate their beloved traditions into their special day. She hopes to fulfill the needs of every couple’s dream wedding day while targeting a niche group of people who want to be able to emphasize and/or merge their cultural backgrounds. 

Mindset & Milestones extends immense gratitude for their 3 amazing judges who provided these students with valuable professional feedback in order to help them grow and enhance their ideas. 

Joanna Reynolds, the Assistant Director and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Startup UCLA is “an economic development professional passionate about equitable economic development and supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.” 

Carrie Phair has over 15 years of experience in the Marketing sector and is a Brand and Marketing Maven at Stated Marketing. She is passionate about creating authentic brand stories and helping businesses create meaningful engagements with their customers. 

Deanna Evans was the former Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at Startup UCLA and is skilled in program development, strategic planning, budget management, coaching entrepreneurs, and, supporting the development of entrepreneurial communities.  

Students were judged on the basis of the following criteria: 

  1. INNOVATION - How novel their idea is and their ability to differentiate from the competition
  2. OPPORTUNITY - How they plan to capitalize on the market opportunity of their idea 
  3. CLARITY - How effectively and thoroughly they are able to explain their idea
  4. FEASIBILITY - The technology, resources, and/or expertise required to bring the idea to life is realistic
  5. SCALABILITY - The business model makes a compelling argument for commercial viability and scalability, with the potential for mass adoption
  6. COMMUNICATION - The pitch is persuasive, informative, and presented with great interest and enthusiasm

We are eager to see how both King and Jaydee expand on their ideas and wish them the best of luck in all of their future entrepreneurial endeavors! 

To read about our first-place winner, CLICK HERE!

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We create materials to help teachers provide youth with entrepreneurial skills! Our curriculum not only empowers youth but also gives educators the tools to lead entrepreneurial experiences in their own programs, classrooms, and more.
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