Today, three teams of Las Vegas-area student entrepreneurs pitched their original business concepts to tech experts at CES 2018® – owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The high school students are part of the CTA Future Innovators program – established by CTA and EVERFI in 2015 – which teaches students how to apply math and creative skills to think entrepreneurially about business. CES is open to members of the technology industry, and attendees must be at least 18 years old.
The student team Conditional Cubes was selected for presenting the winning business pitch. Conditional Cubes seeks to address the programming skills gap in students across the United States. Conditional Cubes’ research indicates that although there are approximately 500,000 open computing jobs nationwide, only 43,000 people entered the IT workforce last year. That gap threatens to widen due to the fact that only 40% of schools specifically teach computer programming. To address this problem, Conditional Cubes pitched a customizable cube that teaches coding in an easy, fun and useful way. After purchasing the cube, customers learn to program their cube to perform a variety of tasks based on personal interest, such as sending an alert when the garage door is opened or when a dog goes through a doggy door. Conditional Cubes believes there is viable market need; they say 11 million people own digital assistant devices, but none offer a simple network where customers can personally code their own commands, all with no previous coding skills.
The innovators and entrepreneurs serving as judges for today’s final round were Deena Ghazarian, managing partner, TargetPath, LLC; Ximena Hartsock, co-founder and president, Phone2Action; and Kyle Walker, head of new business strategy, Amazon.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is critical to the U.S. tech sector and our overall economy – and we congratulate each of the finalist teams who shared their ideas today,” said Jennifer Taylor, vice president, U.S. Jobs, CTA. “CTA is committed to building the next generation of entrepreneurs. We’re proud to help these students develop the foundational skills they need to become the technology leaders of tomorrow.”
Other pitch ideas presented today included:
Stress Be Gone: the app shows users a variety of activities to help relieve stress immediately, including drawing or listening to music.
Addendum One: an affordable laptop-like screen that plugs into a smartphone and mirrors the screen of the smartphone.
To qualify for today’s final round, all competing students successfully completed the CTA Future Innovators program, including an interactive digital learning course called Venture –Entrepreneurial ExpeditionTM, powered by leading technology innovator EVERFI, Inc. The Future Innovators Program also helps close the gender gap in entrepreneurial skills. After taking the course, girls and boys feel equally prepared to engage in a number of entrepreneurial activities – and, on average, girls see a 49 percent increase in preparedness to engage in the seven entrepreneurial activities measured.
“We could not imagine a better partner or platform to host this pitch competition as we seek to cultivate the next generation of community leaders.” said Jon Chapman, EVERFI president of global partnerships. “Together with CTA, we were able to provide these students with a rare opportunity to present their business plans at the global stage for innovation while teaching them lifelong principles about entrepreneurship.”
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Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM is the trade association representing the $351 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, which supports more than 15 million U.S. jobs. More than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best known brands – enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CTA also owns and produces CES ® – the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA’s industry services.
EVERFI, Inc. is the leading education technology innovator that empowers K-12, higher education, and adult learners with the skills needed to be successful in life. Its comprehensive critical skills platform is focused on Financial Education, Digital Citizenship, STEM Career Readiness, Diversity and Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, Character Education, and Health and Wellness. The EVERFI Education Network powers more than 3,300 partner organizations across all 50 states and Canada and annually reaches 6 million learners.
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