This venture will be officially unveiled in the coming weeks. For now, here is the executive summary.
BizLabs is an Entrepreneurial Scholarship Competition Project from Reality Changers, Barrio Logan College Institute, Disruptive Thinkers and Alianza
Many graduating high school students lack sufficient entrepreneurial skills to create their own jobs, and instead simply apply for them as they move beyond traditional education. This is particularly acute among at-risk students who have no tradition of college education in their families.
Furthermore, those that do go to college are, in many cases, saddled with burdensome debt that often takes decades to pay off.
Traditional education provides a foundation of knowledge, but is insufficient for the realities of the knowledge based economy. Creating networks, leveraging innovative trends and understanding the financial requirements of running a business are all skills necessary for success in this century.
Plan / Activities:
BizLabs was created to address these shortfalls. It targets innovative high school students who desire to be the first in their family to attend college. Through a weekend-long interactive course of instruction, and an integrated business idea competition, these student will learn skills that will help them fund their college educations beyond traditional financially burdensome means.
The competition aspect of the Startup weekend type event will award scholarships up to $5,000 to the best business ideas. These funds will be crowdfunded, both driving marketing to the organization, and allowing all interested parties to support the dreams of the next generation. Additionally, all participants will benefit from the hands-on training they get from successful San Diego entrepreneurs. They will start to develop the skills required to start their own businesses while in college, and help pay their way through.
Finally, the end of the BizLab’s weekend will bring parents, students and Life Mentors together to shape a Life Plan for the student, facilitating widespread and continuing buy-in from participants. This will emphasize the role a college education has in building a foundation for a successful future, and how to integrate this learning into creative entrepreneurship.
Measures of Success:
We will utilize existing metrics that Reality Changers and Barrio Logan College Institute already institutes for their own students. BizLabs will track the implementation of the best business plans, and determine whether these innovative ventures are continued when the student matriculates in college.
BizLabs seeks to raise at least $15,000 from Indigogo (a crowdsourcing website) to provide scholarship money to the winners of the competition. Additional funding of $10,000 is sought to facilitate the event, build the brand, and provide further incentives for the high school participants.