Tag Archives: Pumpkins Helping People

2018 i.Invest National Youth Business Competition Winners Announced

 

Pulse Team
i.Invest 2018 Youth Business of the Year – Pulse Wearables  Co-Founders: Anna Pertl – Munich, Germany; Richa Krishna – Los Altos, CA; and William Barkoff – New York, NY.

Today PR Solutions LLC announced the winners of the third annual i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. Four teams consisting of youth entrepreneurs, 13 to 19 years-old from across the U.S. have been selected to receive cash and in-kind prizes after successfully completing a six-month web-based mentoring program and competition that included three rounds of scoring led by business and academic leaders from organizations, including: Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Alerion Ventures, and Urban League of New Orleans. In addition, teams were required to complete group coaching, one-on-one mentoring, and a virtual finale pitch event. Winners were selected based on each team’s ability to develop a scalable business model using the guidance and recommendations of experienced industry leaders.

This year’s winners are:

  • First Place – Pulse Wearables. Developed by Richa Krishna, 17, of Los Altos, CA, William Barkoff, 16, of New York, NY and Anna Pertl, 17, of Munich, Germany, the Pulse Wearables’ medical device allows people limited by heart conditions to monitor their heart rate levels using a non-invasive patch that is easy to use, inconspicuous, and does not require any companion devices to operate. Prize: $2,000, title of i.Invest 2018 Youth Business of the Year, and a one-hour consulting session with Don Morrison, serial entrepreneur and chairman of deal flow at BlueTree Allied Angels and former President and CEO of American Eagle Outfitters.
  • Second Place – Skippit. Created by 19-year-old Brown University student, Winnie McCabe and Babson College student, Marc Baghadjian, Skippit is an iOS voice and video speed-dating platform designed to redefine online dating for people ages 19-28 who are interested in building intimate connections. Prize: $1,000 and a one-hour consulting session with Don Morrison.
  • Third Place – Trofi. Navami Jain, 17, Megan Wu, 17, Michelle Bao, 17, and Vincent Xia, 18, of Durham, NC are the creators of the Trofi online platform that enables suppliers of food by-products, such as fruit and vegetable pulp and spent grain, to connect and sell their “waste” products to livestock farmers who can then incorporate these nutrient-rich products into livestock feed as dietary supplements. Prize: $500.
  • Community Investment Award – Pumpkins Helping People. Gabriella Howard, 15, Alexandrea Howard, 13, and their younger brother, Sam, all from Canal Winchester, OH are the founders of Pumpkins Helping People (PHP), a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to fight hunger through the sale and distribution of pumpkins. Prize: $250.

In addition, all the winners will receive a one-hour consultation with PR Solutions LLC, a strategic marketing and public relations firm and the founder of the i.Invest Competition; the opportunity to be a vendor and/or speaker during the #EYECON Youth Conference in May 2019 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD; and the chance to participate in a “Ask the Start-Up Attorney” no-fee virtual consulting session with Cherin Law Firm located in Pittsburgh, PA.

“The i.Invest competition was a wonderful experience,” said Pulse Wearables co-founder, Krishna. “We loved the mentorship we received from several business leaders both through one-on-one and group sessions. It helped us identify what is truly essential in building our business and focusing on our goals. I also appreciate how well i.Invest was organized and how smooth it was for young entrepreneurs from all over the country to participate. I would love to thank everyone who was part of i.Invest for providing a supportive environment for young entrepreneurs like myself to try without fear of failure.”

To learn more about each team, visit the i.Invest blog.

The 2019 competition will start accepting applications on March 1st. Applicants must be between the ages of 13-19 and have a demonstrable product or service to compete. The application fee is $29. To receive event updates, sponsorship information and to view the list of mentors and judges visit, the i.Invest website or contact Michelle Jackson at mjackson@i-investcompetition.com.

About PR Solutions LLC

PR Solutions LLC is a strategic marketing and corporate event planning firm that specialize in working with new and established ventures to build viable business models and to integrate innovative marketing tools into for-profit and nonprofit business strategies. PR Solutions is the parent company of the i.Invest competition. i.Invest is a grassroots effort that receives funding and support from donations to LifeSkills Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, and the entrepreneurial community. The program’s 2018 principal sponsor was Premier Pediatrics of Houston. To learn more, visit www.prsllc.org.

Ohio-based Youth Entrepreneurs Fight Hunger in their Hometown – One Pumpkin At A Time

Pumpkins Helping People
Gabriella & Alexandrea Howard, Founders of Pumpkins Helping People

Fifteen-year-old Gabriella Howard, her sister Alexandrea, 13, and younger brother, Sam of Canal Winchester, OH are one of this year’s competitors in the i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. Their charitable organization, Pumpkins Helping People (PHP), is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to fight hunger through the sale and distribution of pumpkins.

Here’s what we learned about PHP’s business model:

Tell us about your non-profit.

Pumpkins Helping People offers a retail-based fundraising initiative – selling pumpkins. PHP partners with community food pantries to organize and promote an annual fall pumpkin drive in the pantry’s local community. By buying a pumpkin through PHP’s website, customers are supporting the local food pantry and farmers, from which the pumpkins are sourced from. PHP works hand-in-hand with the pantry to promote the pumpkin drive throughout the community. This promotion directs customers to our website through the use of social media and email marketing. We hope to use the local school system, sports associations, youth organizations, and churches to spread the word.

What inspired the creation of Pumpkins Helping People?

Our inspiration for creating PHP is to help fight hunger. We believe our non-profit is an innovative funding mechanism for food pantries and it has the potential to become highly successful due to our commitment to the customer, the food pantry, and the community.

How will Pumpkins Helping People impact the world?

Over 48 million Americans suffer from hunger, with over 32,000 American food pantries relying heavily on donations to help fight this hunger. The way our program is structured, all profits generated will go directly to help fund local food pantries’ operations and to help fight hunger. In 2017, our proof of concept enabled us to donate $669 to the Canal Winchester Food Pantry to help feed the local community.

What are the next steps for Pumpkins Helping People?

PHP is a scalable concept. Within three to five years, we anticipate extending PHP to other communities similar in size to Canal Winchesters’ (12,993 households) in Central Ohio and then throughout the state. We want PHP to become a national platform for consumers to purchase pumpkins to help fight hunger at the local level.

We recently designed and released a logo and are developing our online store. Once completed, we will begin promoting our website to the Canal Winchester community. In Fall 2018, we plan to strengthen our already established relationship with the Canal Winchester Food Pantry. Within the next two years, we will expand to three nearby similar-sized communities.

To stay abreast of Pumpkins Helping People’s progress in the i.Invest Competition, sign up for our newsletter at www.i-investcompetition.com. To mentor or provide support, email info@i-investcompetition.com.