With only a few under our belt, Startup Weekends have already become part of Phoenix entrepreneurial tradition. But what about future entrepreneurs?
Noting the success of local Startup Weekends and their own Great AZ Code Challenges, CO+HOOTS has decided to host the first ever Youth Startup Weekend at their midtown Phoenix location. The Youth Startup Weekend, which covers August 26-28, will cap off the end of CO+HOOTS’ Summer of Innovation.
The event is aimed toward kids ages 13 to 18 and builds on the existing Startup Weekend model. It begins on a Friday evening with a light dinner, prize announcements, and ice-breaking exercises to introduce the participants to one another. Over the weekend, coaches will help participants form teams. Coaches will then guide participants through role delegation, brainstorming, and prototyping through presentations and walk-throughs. Plenty of time is reserved for teamwork and preparation before the final pitches on Sunday, when three judges will pick the winning “companies” and award prizes.
“Part of what makes the Youth Startup Weekend so unique is that it takes the great parts of the traditional Startup Weekend model and connects them with hands-on learning opportunities,” says Meg Taylor, CO+HOOTS Program Coordinator. “Students will learn how to develop an effective pitch, discuss important steps in building an effective team, learn how to prototype and test and hear from a variety of working professionals and entrepreneurs as they build their final pitch!”
Helping participants along the way will be CO+HOOTS team members, representatives from Infusionsoft, Nextiva, and Consolidated Knowledge, as well as Darrel Kidd, disruptor at the MET Professional Academy in Peoria. Doug Linsmeyer, Darrel Kidd, and Adam Toren will judge the participants’ final pitches.
The CO+HOOTS Foundation works hard to “tap talent early” and empower success in innovators of all ages. Phoenix’s Youth Startup Weekend is a creative way of doing just that.
“One of the great things about CO+HOOTS and the CO+HOOTS Foundation is our dedication and commitment to community building. We focus on creating a supportive, dynamic community that celebrates wins and helps one another through struggles. To be able to offer that and model that to the students of Phoenix is an incredible honor—one we don’t take lightly. We hope to inspire and challenge all the students who take part in the weekend and show them that building a team to build something great is within their grasp!” says Taylor.
Middle and high school students interested in participating in Youth Startup Weekend can buy tickets here. Want to contribute some of your time to the cause? Sign up to become a volunteer or a coding, design, teamwork, or pitching coach on the same page.
We look forward to seeing what awesome ideas the participants in Phoenix’s first Youth Startup Weekend will come up with!