On Wednesday April 25, 11 teams competed for thousands of dollars in prize money through the Venture Lab Pitch Event. Hosted by The New School’s Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative (IEI), the competition gave students enrolled in the Venture Lab course the chance to pitch their ideas and receive constructive feedback from New York City-based socially engaged entrepreneurs. Shaun Johnson, co-founder of Startup Institute, gave a keynote address.
Reflecting The New School’s focus on social engagement and entrepreneurship, the semester-long course led by Jen van de Meer, assistant professor at School of Design Strategies at Parsons, provides current master’s and upper-level undergraduate students with the support, resources, and capacity they need to build financially sustainable businesses that address critical societal challenges.
“The world of careers has changed so much in the last decade,” says Michele Kahane, faculty director of IEI, professor of professional practice at the Schools of Public Engagement, and associate dean for social engagement. “Through Venture Lab, they develop a broad range of skills and a mindset that is not only crucial to advancing their careers but also critical to addressing pressing issues.”
ESL Works an English language training and professional development program is one of the five teams that won funding at the Venture Lab Pitch Event. Another winning team is Modesty Group, a Senegal-based clothing line that creates garments for professional Muslim women who wish to adhere to traditional cultural practices but on their own terms. The three other winners are Original Kids, a community that encourages creative expression among children and adults; Nora, a company that aims to produce a sanitary napkin made of 100 percent organic cotton; and Leading ChangeMakers, an initiative that provides professionals of color in the nonprofit arts and culture sector with leadership development opportunities. The remaining teams are Uput, Spirus Breathing Mask, Nightingale Farms, Leform, Entryway Design, and Broke Broadway.
The IEI is a university-wide initiative that supports early-stage entrepreneurial leaders in developing the mindsets, skills and sense of purpose needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
“We are seeking to create a more inclusive economy by making entrepreneurial education, resources and networks more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey,” says Elizabeth Werbe, director of the IEI.
See Original Post @ The New School News here