Camp BizSmart launches camp at Silicon Valley Community Foundation San Mateo
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation hosted Camp BizSmart at their San Mateo Conference Center on July 9-20, 2012. Parents had been asking Camp BizSmart founders Dr. Mike Gibbs and Peggy Gibbs for a camp location in the San Mateo area and this site proved to be a perfect fit to provide aspiring young entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain real world business skills. We launched our first session at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation with 10 energized students ready to seize the opportunity! We were honored to have Bill Reichert, Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures and Paul Witkay, Founder and CEO of the Alliance for Chief Executive Officers as the judges for the business plan competition.
Bill Reichert also provided the key note kick off address on July 9th, providing the students with his thoughts about what it takes to be a great student and a great employee and the important differences to keep in mind. Dr. Crystal Chang was the Camp Director for this session and drew upon her many experiences among them, working in venture capital, a firm in China, and also as a University professor. Through the Camp BizSmart curriculum students gained hands-on experience and essential business skills in effective brainstorming, critical thinking and problem solving, design thinking and fast cycle design, assets versus liabilities in the finance section and practice in communication that is clear and compelling. The 2012 business cases from d.light design and Hydrovolts were used with one team of students selecting to solve the business problem for each of these companies. Successful entrepreneurs provided students with real life examples from their business experience that illustrated key skills from the Camp BizSmart curriculum among them was:
As you will see in the picture that follows, the students successfully completed their business and entrepreneur course and received their graduation certificates.
Before they would achieve their graduation certificates they had to design their solutions for the d.light design and HydroVolts business problems. And before they would solve these real world business cases for these companies they essential skills and business knowledge including, how design can solve important problems that customers have.
To demonstrate this and to provide hands-on opportunities to learn, then do and achieve a greater degree of understanding that would be needed when they worked on their selected business case, the students practiced using several product design mini cases, one being how to re-design prescription bottles, another to redesign shoe laces and then still another to redesign how to keep fragile babies warm where their is no electricity to rely on. Each of these design cases had real companies that had dealt with and come up with their own solutions to these customer issues providing real world examples. Here are examples of two of the design solutions that the student teams came up with to address the customers needs:
“fantastic laces – team design solution to replace the tradition shoe lace”
The students worked diligently in their teams and were mentored by experienced entrepreneurs who provided examples from their areas of expertise. In addition, WAGIC industrial designers came in to listen to the student teams present their product design solutions and then provided to the teams renderings that were created from the teams’ hand drawings and detailed descriptions. Here are the drawings from the teams:
The business plan competition day was the day the teams had been waiting for where they could showcase their written business plan, their product design and their team presentation to the judges and make their case that they had created, supported and defended their product design most successfully according to the product case requirements and ultimately provided the most innovative solution according to the judges determination.
The next day was the graduation and awards ceremony where the parents and family members are urged to attend. Students once again do their presentations but this time so that their families are able to listen and learn what they have created and accomplished during the 10 day Camp BizSmart session.