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The Acton Entrepreneur And Leadership Camp

Raji Srinivasan
07/04/2019

The Acton Entrepreneur and Leadership camp was lead by Ansh Viswanathan, a rising junior at Acton Boxborough Regional Highschool along with Srilasya Poruri, also a rising junior at the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science. This team put together the plan over 4 months and executed for 5 days from June 24th to June 28th 2019.

Shooting Stars is a nonprofit organization that was started by high schoolers to engage kids during spring break. Slowly the high schoolers involved with the program started to come up with more innovative ideas and now the organization promotes dance programs, Entrepreneur Camps etc. The proceeds from the camp are used to provide funding for deserving students in developing nations. Under Shooting Stars, donors can sponsor students in third world countries who currently cannot afford education. However, their reach has become far beyond just developing countries, as they are also working with students in impoverished areas of the United States as well. Shooting Stars uses a multitude of facets to generate funds.

The Leadership and Entrepreneurship Camp was a unique experience for both the campers and directors, as both matters are not taught in schools and do not fall under a single category such as math or science. The mission of the camp was to expose the students to the world of entrepreneurship, and give them more exposure to the business world. To do this, we planned 14 speakers to speak to the students about their experience with entrepreneurship or leadership. These guest speakers included many elites in the business world, most notably Dave Jackson (the CIO of Welch’s) and Desh Deshpande (Founder of Sycamore Networks). Additionally, the students visited a variety of companies, such as Mathworks, iRobot, and Welch’s, to give them more understanding of different industries and how a real company looks like. Topics included branding, marketing, risk assessment, funding, product strategy and many more.

The directors started out few months before by reaching out to various organizations, through contacts to line up the company tours and Guest speakers. They put together the detailed agenda for the camp and kept in touch with the speakers to collect their presentations and be ready, during the week. They sent daily updates to the parents informing them on what happened during the day and what to expect next.

Although starting with little to no experience in entrepreneurship, in just 5 days the students had created company from their own genuine ideas and honed it to make it attractive on the market. By the end of the camp, the students gave their “elevator pitch” to a group of judges. The camp provided all of the students with the experience and ground work for starting their own company, if they wish to pursue it. The students created an idea that would solve a problem in a chosen industry, an “elevator pitch” to present to investors, and a business plan that would project the logistics of how to sell their product on the market.

The thought of giving back to the community is something today’s youth is very conscious about. These two kids decided to expose a group of kids to entrepreneurship while trying to help educate kids in third world countries. Shooting Stars dreams to improve the lives of the uneducated in developing countries and this camp along with others are helping the cause.

 



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