Where Entrepreneurship STARTS in High School

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Regarding Power Pitch:  

"After having seen  hundreds of business plan presentations over the years, these young people put the greater Chicago tech community to shame last night."

- Ron May, March 7, 2012

"I think who ever coached those kids on how to present should be doing it with adults too." 

-Nancy Munro, President, Chicago MIT Enterprise Forum




TALENT is an extra-curricular inquiry learning program helping Illinois high school students get new business ventures off the ground. The CoolHub.IMSA project space is used to promote events, encourage collaboration and communication with IMSA alumni, entrepreneurs and investors. Much of the prototyping work takes place outside CoolHub.IMSA in workshops, labs and focus groups.


stage four protoype


TENTATIVE Schedule Fall 2013 and beyond


Location: Tellabs unless otherwise noted

Aug. 26, 8 pm -- Internships. Hear about internships from IMSA interns and find out what you need to do to be an intern at 1871 or another location this school year.

Sept. 9, 5 - 10 pm - Techstars Demo Night. Field trip to Northwestern's School of Law in Chicago to hear ten pitches by this year's Techstars businesses. These are outstanding pitches (and a good model for Power Pitch, our own pitch contest in March). We have room for 40 participants. Must sign up with Carl.

Sept. 16 -- IMSA Homecoming, no meeting

Sept. 23, 8 pm -- Game Night, 8 pm -- Ventures to Vultures.  This session features Ventures to Vultures, an IMSA TALENT game invented IMSA Alums Michael Mirksi and Sid Sapru (both IMSA '10) and refined by Kevin Baker (IMSA '11). Quick Draw Fun. Turn your Big Ideas into Money. Find out more about TALENT and eleMENT. Everyone is welcome. Also: find out about eleMENT, a new intro to entrepreneurship for Sophomores and Power Pitch our annual contest. Discover what you need to know to participate in Power Pitch. Do you want to pitch alone or as part of a team?

Sept. 30, 8 pm  -- My Entrepreneurial DNA. What's your entrepreneurial DNA? Few entrepreneurs can "go it alone." They need to supplement their skills with those of other team members. We are joined by author Joe Abraham to explore your DNA.

Oct. 7, 8 pm  -- The Lean Startup. If hard work and perseverance does NOT equal success, what does? New ways of managing start ups challenges traditional thinking and produces results (and failures) faster.

Oct. 14 -- Columbus Day Holiday

Oct. 21, 8 pm --Lean Startups and MVPs: Arjun and Puja lead this exploration of MVP's and why they are essential to Lean Startups.

Oct. 28, 8 pm -- Count the Cost:  Learn about Consumer Acquisition Cost and Life Time Value in this fast-paced, strategy card game developed by TALENT. Everyone is welcome.

Nov. 4, 8 pm --  Live with Kevin Wang: A session with IMSA TALENT alum and Thiel Fellow Kevin Wang (IMSA '12).

Nov. 11, 8 pm -- IDEA Night (Workshop): What are your Big Ideas? Share your ideas and get valuable group feedback.

Nov. 18, 8 pm -- Start up Financing: Moises Goldman, Dane Christianson. Guest Panel answers questions about financing, including where to go for capital, differences between angel investors and venture capitalists, risks to take and risks to avoid.

Nov. 25 -- Thanksgiving Week - No Meeting

Dec. 2, 8 pm -- Workshop: IDEA Night, Part 2

Dec. 9, 8 pm -- TBD

Jan. 6-10 (Intersession) The Life Cycle of a Business

Jan. 13, 8 pm -- Experiences from Silicon Valley: participants share impressions and discoveries from Intersession

Jan. 20, 8 pm -- Anatomy of a Pitch: Videos and Discussion

Jan. 27, 8 pm --  Workshop: Elevator Pitches

Feb 3 - Deadline for Power Pitch Application

Feb. 3, 8 pm -- Elevator Pitch Workshop and sign-ups for rehearsals

Feb. 10, 8 pm -- Pitch Slide Decks

Feb. 17, President's Day Holiday

Feb. 24, 8 pm -- Field Trip to LiveOne to do product testing

Mar. 3, 8 pm -- Power Pitch Dress Rehearsals

Mar. 10, 6 - 8 pm -- @ 1871 Power Pitch Prelims. Individuals and teams present their concept or demonstrate their product or service to qualify for the Finals. The format is similar to a science fair. Six businesses will be selected for the finals.

Mar. 31, 8 pm -- Summer Internships

Apr. 29 -- @ 1871 Power Pitch Finals in Chicago. Individuals and teams have 8 minutes to present their product or service. Six businesses compete for cash prizes.  

May 25 -- Application Deadline for TALENT Hackathon

July 14 -- TALENT Summer Hackathon


Entries with tag upgrade .

TALENT UPgrade Experience: July 15 - 27, 2012

Sign up for the UPgrade Experience, TALENT's new summer camp.  

TALENT UPgrade Experience

More information at https://www3.imsa.edu/learning/talent/upgrade

Application Deadline: April 15, 2012. An online application form is available at http://tinyurl.com/imsatalent

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Entrepreneur's Elevator Pitch

Crafting an effective elevator pitch, with examples