Mount Vernon’s aspiring entrepreneurs pitch ideas to Atlanta leaders

IMG_8707In just three days, Mount Vernon’s Innovation Diploma students created and pitched a variety of business startup ideas to some of Atlanta’s most successful leaders and investors.

Following a social entrepreneurship theme, many of the students developed solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues. For instance one group, who saw a gap in the athletic apparel market, developed the startup Soul Shoes, which allows athletes to replace and customize the soles of their athletic shoes. Another group, seeing the needs of the homeless and the constraints of shelters, came up with a longer-term strategy providing more of a community called Tiny Homestay. One of the most creative concepts capitalized on the “breakfast all day” concept, but instead of serving fast food, their dining experience Saturday Mornings, strategically placed near college campuses, would serve more than 50 brands of boxed cereal. In a comfy, innovative atmosphere, customers could watch classic cartoons, and come dressed in their favorite pajamas.

The experience, in partnership with the non-profit organization 3 Day Startup, took place over three days at ROAM in Dunwoody. Throughout, students worked alongside industry experts discovering what it takes to be an entrepreneur, while receiving 1-1 mentoring and final feedback in a shark tank-style pitch at the end.

Ten Atlanta business leaders contributed their time participating as mentors or pitch panelists. A large majority of the experts are Mount Vernon parents who also serve in the School’s Experts in Residence program.

  • Braden Copeland, Zac Brown Band founder, former race car team owner, and serial entrepreneur
  • Emily Soelberg, AT&T AVP Internet of Things Solutions*
  • Jeannie Tarkenton, Founder of FundingU*
  • Monica Lage, Founder/CEO Break into Business  
  • Christian Dodder, Entrepreneur and Owner of Fire Protection Services*
  • Todd House, President of Fleetcorp*
  • Carl Streck, Co- Founder & CEO Mountainseed*
  • Amy Crouse,  Senior Communications, Home Depot Foundation & Founder/CEO of Project Love
  • Eric Levitan, COO of Sintemedia*
  • Terri Badour, Metropolitan Atlanta Red Cross CEO*

*MVPS parent

To learn more more about Mount Vernon’s Innovation Diploma 3 Day StartUp experience, check out Director of Maker, Design & Engineering, Jim Tiffin’s Storify on Twitter.

Innovation Diploma, or iDiplomaoffers an extraordinary opportunity for high school students to become lead designers and innovators in the community. Now in its third year, iDiploma students have already tackled issues and solved problems for a variety of organizations like AT&T, the CDC, the city of Sandy Springs, and numerous non-profits. Through 3-Day Startup, students will further their innovating skills and receive 1-1 mentoring from leading entrepreneurs who work in fields of telecommunications, marketing, financial investing, the music industry, and the tech startup world.

About 3 Day Startup

3 Day Startup is a global non-profit based in Austin, TX that provides students around the world with access to free hands-on entrepreneurship education. IMG_8744 (1) IMG_8789 IMG_8757 IMG_8709

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