An interesting and innovative new club has recently been started at San Clemente High School, and is already making history. Starting over the summer, a group of students and their mentor set out to gain business experience by inventing products. When an opportunity presented itself to submit to a competition titled “Youth for the Elderly,” the team set out to make an invention so impressive they would stand out in the event. The product they created is called MOM, Memory Optimizing Manager, which benefits senior citizens. Member of the group, Lauren Woodstra, in grade 11, explained the purpose behind that product as a “technology that can actually change senior citizens’ lives and make them able to continue living in the comfort of there own home; instead of being forced into assisted living situations too early due to their diminishing memory.”
By outlining their business plan, and presenting a five minute pitch, they managed to beat out thirty two other countries, and have now secured themselves a spot amongst the final five to present their idea in Milan. They will be competing against Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, and Macedonia on October 26th.
Recently, members of the group talked via Skype with a corporate investor and the CEO of HYPE Youth Startup Foundation, the company running the Milan Competition. The meeting took place over Skype, with the nine hour time difference between Italy and San Clemente not deterring the teams motivation to finalize their project. The business-people gave the students suggestions and tips for the upcoming presentation.
On October 2oth, only six days before they left, they presented in front of the community at the City Council meeting to demonstrate their plans for the upcoming competition, and to present a request for a grant to ease the expenses. The city council voted in their favor, rewarding them with $2,500 for travel costs.
Making it in to the top five provided them a trip to Italy that included airfare and hotel fees, but the members of the group–Lance Woodstra, 12, Lauren Woodstra, 11, Hannah Reed, 11, Mikayla Hartigan, 10, and Nicky Chin, 10 fundraised $12,000 more dollars in order to make the rest of the trip possible. Not only will this opportunity be a once in a lifetime chance to travel to Milan with other young entrepreneurs, but having been exposed to events like this competition at such a young age will help the team members become successful. It will be extremely beneficial for their future because it will give them the experience they need to make it in the business world. Wish this team luck as they represent our school half way around the world!