More than 70 Peoria Unified School District high school students joined Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation at the ASU West campus for Peoria Youth Entrepreneurship Day, Sept. 27.
Students developed innovative solutions to various real-life challenges.
Students practiced the entrepreneurial approach by brainstorming, conducting customer discovery interviews, iterating ideas and pitching their final solutions.
The students were supported by more than 20 coaches, volunteers, business owners, and the ASU mascot Sparky.
Students honed their entrepreneurial skills and heard from their fellow West Valley entrepreneurs.
Avi Agarwal, founder of Avi’s Sweet Treats and Slyvia Lopez, co-founder of Jotted, shared their journey and how starting a venture has transformed their future. They have both achieved several significant growth milestones in their venture and represent the growing number of young West Valley innovators using entrepreneurship to pave a pathway forward.
Caprice Moreno, the owner of Tukee's Tamales, shared her culinary talents and entrepreneurial journey. While lunch was served, several students seized the opportunity to pitch their current ventures, ranging from a fashion line to an outsourced game development firm.
The event's objective was to provide students access to an entrepreneurial experience and launch a new entrepreneurship co-lab student-led group to help connect young entrepreneurs from across the West Valley to resources and their fellow innovators.
The organizers had a modest goal hoping 5-10 participants would show interest in joining the initiative after the event. In a post-event survey, the overwhelming majority of attendees responded that they were interested in joining the group.
“Innovative programming requires deep collaboration from several dedicated partners. This program would not have been possible without the efforts of the Peoria Unified School District CTE program and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute, Peoria Forward team. Whether you were a participant, a coach or a local business owner, everyone walked away from that program with a more profound sense of pride in their local community and the entrepreneurial skills needed to navigate today’s biggest challenges. The future of West Valley is bright," said Kristin Slice, director of Community Entprenreureship, Edson E+I.
The following West Valley entrepreneurs and resources partners participated: Moana Comans, manager at 808 Social, Nick Suwyn, president of Promineo Tech, Del Rae Cicinelli, founder and CEO of Loil Life; and Nathaniel Washburn, Peoria library and Amplify Podcast studio manager.