Girls get Shark Tank-style experience at Startup Weekend

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Seniors and Ambassadors with big ideas and a knack for problem-solving got a chance to hone their skills at Startup Weekend, July 26-28, in Santa Monica. Participants took their ideas from pitch to product, ultimately building prototypes and presenting them to a panel of judges.

The panel consisted of some big names in the business industry: ICM Partners Senior Vice President of Administration Erin Oremland; Blackline, Inc. Head of Global Tax Cheryl Hundley; Deloitte Senior Consultant Tiffany Lin; and Warner Bros. Vice President of Corporate Responsibility Stacey Hoppe.

External experts with business and technical experience helped mentor four teams, each focused on a different idea.

First Place went to the team behind Beauty Proof. M. Isabel, who was a member of the team, said Beauty Proof is a product designed to stop burns caused by styling hair with heat.

“Beauty proof offers protection to the forehead as well as the ears with an additional item for neck protection. The ear pieces are adjustable and come in different sizes for all ear types,” M. Isabel said.

GSGLA Girl Scout Grace experienced Startup Weekend for the first time this year. This is how she described the event:

I’m a longtime fan of Shark Tank and am thinking about majoring in business in college, so when I found out about Girl Scouts’ Startup Weekend, I thought it sounded like a perfect event for me.

I signed up and showed up for the first day, not knowing anyone else, but that didn’t matter. We jumped right in and were given the opportunity to present our own business ideas. After everyone presented, we voted and narrowed down the field and then broke up into groups to start further developing the top ideas.

After much discussion and idea development with our group, it was time to see if real people liked our project. We went onto the streets to interview people and take suggestions. It was great and eye-opening to hear other people’s thoughts and adjust our ideas based off of their feedback. The coaches were very helpful. They helped us see how realistic our ideas were and talked to us about price, revenue, profit margin, accessibility—topics we needed expert advice on.

We were able to take their advice and apply it to our business idea and make it even better. On the last day, we were able to present everything that we had been working on to our coaches, families and to the other groups. It was very nerve-wracking, but it was exciting to be able to finally share our ideas. Our team worked well together in both pitching our business idea and fielding questions from the judges.

Overall, I had a great experience at Startup Weekend. As a shyer person, I felt that this weekend really pushed me to do things I would not have otherwise done, and I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in such a unique and rewarding event and make new friends!

Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of entrepreneurs with a mission to inspire, educate, and empower communities to launch revolutionary ideas. It is the largest community of entrepreneurs in the world and has hosted more than 2,000 events in more than 200 countries since 2007.

Startup Weekend is an annual event, but GSGLA regularly hosts events for STE(A)M enthusiasts and older girls. Check out our online calendar to view upcoming events.

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