It was a full house at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab last Friday, as around 50 faculty, administrators and high school student hopefuls filled in to take part in the inspirational 1st Annual #IdeaLA Elevator Pitch Competition.
The competition gave bright, young inner-city high school students a chance to showcase their business ideas to for prize money, and bragging rights.
Research Assistant Andrew Schrock inaugurated the event, introducing the youthful competitors and celebrating the folks at #IdeaLA for providing opportunities to inner-city high school students.
Among the many brilliant ideas presented, was a programming academy for high school students, a clothing store, and more.
The winning team to walk away with the grand prize was David Woldenberg and Ethan Gruman of Harvard-Westlake High School. David and Ethan plan to launch a computer programming academy among children aged 8-12 in Los Angeles.
Second place went to Daijanique Joseph, who pitched a non-profit mentoring program for high schools students to encourage graduation.
Securing third place, Michael Jones, Manuel Soto and Oscar Fonseca presented an idea to bring urban farming business that networks Aquaponic greenhouses situated on vacant and abandoned lots scattered throughout the inner-city.
In all, 18 students took part in the competition from Jefferson High School.
Social media guru & Annenberg Innovation Lab Administrative Assistant Jennifer Ellis was on site to live-tweet the event.
Erin Reilly, Creative Director of the Innovation Lab, and USC Annenberg Dean Wilson were present to offer their insights, support, and encouragement.
IdeaLA launched a crowdsourcing campaign to provide funding for the event, and will continue to work with the students who participated in the pitch competition to further develop their entrepreneurship skills and provide guidance.
The event celebrated the imagination and ingenuity of Los Angeles inner-city adolescents, proving that no matter someone's background, dreams and success do come true.