Spark Teen Redefines “Disruptive Youth”
Posted in — Sep 14, 2020
More than ever, today’s teens aren’t counting on following their parents’ well-trod career paths. Industries are changing and disappearing everywhere. Information and communications are boundless, and young people of all races, genders, and nations see new opportunities for anyone with a great idea.
“Our goal is to create an awesome, shared entrepreneurial experience for young people. The energy and excitement of seeing other high school students pitching their ideas, and selling face-to-face with a customer, is inspiring to all involved,” says Spark Teen Co-Founder Kyler Wang.
That’s where Spark Teen comes in. What started as a local meet-up in Portland is fast becoming a global community of like-minded “kids” looking for a launchpad of inspiration, mentorship, and investment to forge their own path in a changing world. FINE is all-in on supporting the effort.
Through in-person events, an online community, and the Spark Teen Accelerator, Spark Teen serves as part venture capital, part entrepreneur’s boot camp, and part incredibly impressive high school clique. These aren’t your grandpa’s jocks, nerds, punks, goths, stoners, or surfers. These are your grandkid’s CEOs, innovators, and community leaders.
The Spark Teen Accelerator Challenge is more than an entrepreneurship prize competition - it’s now a chance to join the Spark Teen Accelerator, where companies are “forged in fire”, putting in the hard work to launch and grow their company, backed by a return-free investment pool and mentorship from some of the world’s greatest leaders and innovators.
“This year’s 1,000+ entries came from 17 different countries, including all over the United States, as well as the Philippines, India, China, Singapore, Kenya, and beyond” says Kai Fine, Spark Teen Co-Founder. “I met teens from all over the world; doers and innovators passionate enough to work hard and brave enough to dream big.“
Spark Teen entrepreneurs address the full spectrum of business ideas, from fashion and food to the most pressing problems of our day. If you’re envisioning dog walking, babysitting, or reselling sneakers on Poshmark, a sample of this year’s semi-finalists should change your perspective about the sheer scope of what teens these days can do:
- Cancer-Ex from India is developing the world's first non-invasive, inexpensive strip-based test to detect pancreatic cancer
- Fision Lens from Illinois uses a film applied to a glasses lens to make low-cost prescription updates and replacements
- Ocular Diagnoses from New York is helping accurately diagnose ADHD through the eye
- UD-Tech Farms from Kenya uses IoT technology systems to help farmers increase crop production
We’ll be featuring some of the Spark Teen ideas in more detail in our news and social media channels. Because while teens have always been disruptors, the new rebellious youth are those with a business idea for a better way.
And we can’t wait to see the world they make, especially if we don’t get in their way.
Learn more at https://www.sparkteen.org/ and make sure to follow @spark.teen