More than 70 high school students from the Peoria Unified School District attended Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation on September 27 for Peoria Youth Entrepreneurship Day on the ASU West campus.
The students developed innovative solutions for various real-world challenges.
The students practiced the entrepreneurial approach by brainstorming, conducting customer discovery interviews, repeating ideas and presenting their final solutions.
The students were supported by more than 20 trainers, volunteers, business owners and ASU mascot Sparky.
The 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 business has transformed their future. Both have achieved several significant growth milestones at their companies and represent the growing number of young West Valley innovators who are using entrepreneurship to pave a path forward.
Caprice Moreno, the owner of Tukee’s Tamales, shared her culinary talents and entrepreneurial journey. While lunch was served, several students took the opportunity to present their current ventures, which have ranged from a clothing line to an outsourced game development company.
The purpose of the event was to give students access to an entrepreneurial experience and to create a new student-led entrepreneurial collaboration group to connect young entrepreneurs from across the West Valley with resources and their fellow innovators.
The organizers had a modest goal and hoped that after the event 5-10 participants would show an interest in joining the initiative. In a post-event poll, the overwhelming majority of attendees responded that they were interested in joining the group.
“Innovative programming requires intensive collaboration between 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, trainer, or local business owner, everyone left this program with a deeper sense of pride in their local community and the entrepreneurial skills needed to solve today’s toughest challenges. The future of West Valley is bright,” said Kristin Slice, director of community entrepreneurship, Edson E+I.
The following West Valley entrepreneurs and resource partners attended: Moana Comans, Manager at 808 Social; Nick Suwyn, President of Promineo Tech; Del Rae Cicinelli, Founder and CEO of Loil Life; and Nathaniel Washburn, Head of Peoria Library and Amplify Podcast Studio.
Peoria Unified School District,
Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation,
Peoria Youth Entrepreneur Day