VentureLab’s May 2023 Youth Pitch Event Recap and Replay

virtual youth pitch event May 2023

In the world of entrepreneurship, ideas are only the beginning. The cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset is what truly sets apart those who can turn their ideas into reality. VentureLab’s May 2023 Youth Pitch Event highlighted this in a profound way, showcasing the creativity and determination of young entrepreneurs, each of whom demonstrated key entrepreneurial mindsets.

The virtual event was run by Scott Mann, VentureLab’s Director of Education, while our new Executive Director, Desma Deitz, introduced the esteemed panel of judges: Kelly Weaver, Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center; Mary Scott, award-winning filmmaker, founder of BusinessRiff, and author of the St. Louis Startup Resource Guide; and Doug, CEO of Bold Xchange.

Watch the replay:

What stood out about these young entrepreneurs was not just their innovative ideas, but their ability to embody and articulate the importance of the entrepreneurial mindset. They showed curiosity, courage, adaptability, resilience, and persistence – traits that are vital for entrepreneurship.

The participants, Ali, Ibraheem, and Husayn of VIB (Very Industrious Brothers), demonstrated curiosity and adaptability in their lawn care business, diversifying their services based on customer needs and feedback.

Abdullah, of Happy House of Desserts, highlighted the mindset of embracing failure when his homemade snow cones didn’t turn out as planned. However, he persisted and adjusted his strategy until he achieved the desired results.

Mikayla of Krafty Creations by Kayla showcased her courage in the face of doubt and adversity, and her creativity in creating and selling her paintings, abstract letter blocks and candles.

Natalie, who offers customizable family and pet photography through Pawsome Portraits, exhibited the power of persistence and grit in juggling her business with other commitments.

Mady of SMART Laser Designs emphasized her journey of embracing failure as she encountered difficulties in engraving and designing. Her experience was a testament to the importance of resilience and a positive attitude towards failure in the entrepreneurial journey.

This event was more than just a showcase of innovative business ideas. It was an inspiring display of the entrepreneurial mindset in action, providing valuable lessons for both young and seasoned entrepreneurs.

As we look forward to the next Youth Pitch Event, we invite you to get involved and learn more about our mission to nurture entrepreneurial mindsets in youth of all ages. If you’re an educator, a professional, or someone who believes in the power of entrepreneurial education, your support has made an impact.

Let’s continue fostering the entrepreneurial mindsets towards creating the next generation of diverse innovators and changemakers by making entrepreneurship education accessible to ALL youth.

Youth Virtual Pitch Event replay (from December 1, 2022)

Youth pitch event replay from December 1, 2022

Did you miss our virtual youth pitch event on December 1, 2022? It was amazing! Check out the highlights in this video replay. Thank YOU to our mentors, panelists, audience, and most of all the kids who did the hard work of pitching their ideas at this event.

Panelists were:

Albert Swantner is the co-founder and CTO of Betterleave, a company that supports people experiencing the death of a loved one. He’s also a Partner at The Fund Austin investing in early stage startups. Albert advises and invests in numerous startups, is on the board of multiple nonprofits, and works with the University of Texas Humanitarian Engineering Program, SKU, Techstars, SXSW, and DivInc.

Jason Mercado is the owner of Sweet Mission, a for-purpose cookie company baking with love in Anaheim California. As a formerly homeless individual, the goal of Sweet Mission is provide employment to those who come from a vulnerable background and to also give back to the community.

Brooke Turner, Vice President of STEAM Learning at Thinkery is a passionate education and programs executive focused on access and equity. Prior to joining Thinkery, Brooke held the role of Vice President of Programs for DivInc and co-founded a edtech startup, Kwaddle. Her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for impact came about while growing up in San Antonio, where Brooke saw first-hand the power and importance of culture, community, and education in building a more equitable world. She has applied those lessons throughout her career.

Youth Pitch Participants were:

KD’s Kustom Treats – handmade custom treats by Kimora that offers different types of custom treats, featuring flavored popcorn and hot chocolate bombs.

Jam by Josh – all natural jams made of only four ingredients, for people who love food but think about what they’re putting into their bodies.

Inch by Inch by Isabella – helping to solve the global problem of fabric waste with clothing extenders from scrap. Extend pants and sleeves to accommodate growing kids, save closet space, money and prevent clothes from landing in the landfill!

Blue Blossom Slimez by Camille – homemade scented slimes that are available with in different scents, colors, and included charms. Camille has been working on this business since she was in second grade.

Effortlessly You by Madison – an apparel brand that inspires, empowers and motivates others to be themselves effortlessly. She ultimately wants to start a mental health nonprofit for those who are struggling.


VentureLab holds youth pitch events regularly! Get involved with our next youth pitch event as a panelist, audience, or participant.

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