Monday, May 19, 2008

Generation E Showcase

For several years I’ve been researching and visiting different groups that are trying to take an entrepreneurial curriculum to high school students. The best that I’ve found so far is in MI where the Generation E Institute has developed a curriculum for high school and middle school students, implementing it in several MI schools. Last week they held their Third Annual Student Business Showcase to highlight the businesses that their students are required to start during their study of entrepreneurism. Over 100 students from a dozen schools took part in the Showcase and I had a great time seeing the products that they had developed and were selling. It almost felt like Halloween as I filled up a couple of bags of goodies to take home.

Here were some of the companies/ideas that caught my eye at the event:

Middle Schools

Garden of Beadin—Ellie Hall & Taylor Westlake--$1000 prize winner—selling a wide array of necklaces and bracelets

Pencil Pops—Esther Mawj--$500 prize winner—suckers on top of colored pencils

Winter Hats—Naomi Mawi--$500 prize winner—Burmese hats

Duck Tape Wallets—Jacob Wilson—hard to believe what you can do with duct tape!

High Schools, Career Centers & Young Adult Programs

Tip Stick Pretzel Company—Haley DePew & Jacquelynn Magoes—Delicious toppings on pretzels—A winner at my house!

Expressions—Tia Crabill—Personalized Calendars

JuJus Charms—Andrew Montgomery & Edith Torrico—Charms for your cell phones—who knew?

Aquatics—Elena Bergstresser & Matt Jones—Best Business Plan Winner—Sold a very unique self contained fish in a beta bowl

Pandora’s Box—Niko Elliott—Selling a black plexiglass box to produce mushrooms

Parsley Patch—Gabrielle Taylor & Ashley Wade—Manufacture and package seasonings for meal preparations

FLC Wooden Rose—Bei he & Cindy Huynh—$1000 prize winner--Colorful roses with a fragrance of your choice

Glow with the Flow Black Light Dance—Evan Gwillim & Julius Harris—Put on a black light dance at their school

Sweet’s Today, Hope for Tomorrow—Nicole Evans—Candy bouquets and gumball candy jars

Cheryl Peters and Doug Woodard do an excellent job of running these programs. In the five years that they’ve been running Gen E, they’ve developed a hands-on, business starting program and have educated over 50 MI teachers on the importance of entrepreneurism. Both have combined an educational and entrepreneurial experience into a wonderful program that I’m convinced more schools and towns should be implementing. Contact them if you want to transform your community entrepreneurially.

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