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Last night, Ashoka Seattle hosted its first ever Youth Venture Community Showcase. Over 30 teams participated in the 2 hour tradeshow event. Attendees chose which Youth Venture teams to ‘invest’ in and the top 3 teams received cash awards. Attendees were limited to $500 maximum investments in teams, and had to speak with each team before choosing which to invest in. Investors were asked to decide which teams were worthy based on four criteria: Innovation, Impact, Passion, and Presentation.
The Youth Venture teams gave it their all and were giving 30 second pitches left and right. Notable teams include:
Random Peaches, who perform one act plays to people that don’t have access to theatre – they stayed in character the whole time – giving their pitch as ‘An Englishman and a Bad Biker’.
Paws for a Cause, a team that helps raise awareness and support for a Burien animal shelter – had homemade dog blankets, treats, toys, and a rescue dog on display. Woof!
Tallulah Bracelets, sold bracelets made by LGBTQ youth to help raise awareness and funds for the Lambert House, an organization that provides shelter to homeless LGBTQ youth.
Support the Victims, a team from Global Connections high school, has raised over $750 dollars since January by selling school pride apparel, to raise money for victims of sex trafficking.
At 6pm, attendees were given 20 minutes to invest in their favorite teams. A mad dash ensued and the pressure was turned up on the 34 teams to earn as many invest dollars as possible. At 6:30pm Investing ended and teams tallied their totals.
While Investment dollars were counted, Ashoka Seattle’s Youth Venture Alumni Shandra Benito spoke about her experience with the program. Shandra is a shining star in the Ashoka Seattle world; she is currently an Intern at the office and is the Mentor for Roosevelt and Highline High School Youth Venture Programs.
As the dust settled, three teams rose to the top -
3rd place went to The (So)ul Street, a team that prevents youth violence by helping young people express themselves through fashion and make healthy decisions. (So)ul Street had many friends out in support, it was great to see the community rally around this team! Acceptance Speech here
2nd place went to The Mural Project, founded by Kizzie Foster. Due to cuts in funding, many high schools no longer have art programs. Kizzie, an amazing artist herself, wanted to create a place where students could practice art. The Mural Project creates spaces where students can create and display their art. Acceptance Speech here!
1st place went to the Youth Ultimate Project, or YUP. Led by Founder Chris Trinh, YUP is in its second year of existence. Their mission is to spread community building throughout Cambodia using the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. Acceptance Speech here!
It was an incredible evening and went beyond all expectations – over 30 youth teams were present, representing 15 Seattle area schools. More than 80 guests ‘invested’ over $75,000 – Ashoka Bucks – in King County’s high school social entrepreneurs and future Changemakers. A huge thank you to everyone that came out and stay tuned for our next Community Showcase, May 31, 2012!!!
You can see videos from the event on the Ashoka Seattle Youtube channel - including a video of each team that participated
And a picture slideshow can be seen at the top of this page!