Teenagers Pitch Their Ideas at Demo Day at the Cove

Past Tides
October 19, 2018 By Grace Wood

Teenage entrepreneurs from across Southern California pitched their businesses to professional investors as part of the inaugural Demo Day, hosted by K12 Ventures. Held at the Cove, headquarters for UCI Applied Innovation, each entrepreneur had three minutes to give their best pitch. Their startup companies range from an app that flips music book pages to a procrastination manager that locks distractions in a box for a set amount of time.

Young entrepreneurs pitch their startup companies to a large audience at the Beach at Applied Innovation. Photo: McClain Nelson

K12 Ventures is a startup incubator and venture capital company that provides young entrepreneurs and early-stage startup accelerators funding and mentorship to young entrepreneurs. Demo Day featured 10 different middle school and high school students who have founded their own startup companies. The venue was a perfect fit as UCI Applied Innovation supports young entrepreneurs by providing an environment that help can further their concepts.

“Our vision is to be an enabling engine by which these young, talented, capable, [and] determined students amongst us can take their ideas and passion and apply it from concept to development and, ultimately, to commercialization,” said Edmond Banayan, K12 Ventures board member.

After each student pitch, the panel and the audience asked the young CEOs questions about their startups, which included their predicted profit and other logistics of their companies.

K12 Ventures Board Member Sha Zhang asks entrepreneur questions about their business during the event. Photo: McClain Nelson

“This time, when we were reviewing all the projects, you have to see that all the students know the importance of solving problems,” said Professor Yu Sun, K12 Ventures board member. “That’s the most important thing of creating startups–problem solving and real world problems.”

Ten startups already have apps available for download, five have published research papers, four are registered companies in Southern California, and four have filed for provisional patents.

Learn more about K12 Ventures here.