Allsup High School Summer Academy Brings Young Entrepreneurs to the Cook School
The annual Allsup High School Entrepreneurship Summer Academy, hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship at the John Cook School of Business, welcomed over 60 students to the program. This year’s group of high school students enjoyed this unique, hands-on experience that provided them with guidance from faculty, student mentors, and well-known entrepreneurs in the St. Louis community.
This year’s keynote speaker was Remmi Smith, the founder of Cook Time with Remmi, a cooking show aimed at getting kids excited about cooking, and to link the skill of cooking to improved nutrition. Remmi’s business idea stemmed from the current childhood obesity epidemic. She works with executive chefs from 500 school districts in North America representing 3 million students. Her show airs on air on the international ifood.tv and foodytv.com platforms, and she has a segment on the local CBS affiliate in her hometown in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Remmi was named “Top 20 Entrepreneurs” of 2014 by Teen Business.
A highlight to this week’s program was a site visit to TechArtista, a coworking space in the Central West End, followed by lunch with entrepreneurs Chris Sommers of Pi Pizzeria and Joy Grdnic of the Fountain on Locust. The students were able to ask guest speakers Crystal Martin of LaunchCode, Khalia Collier of St. Louis Surge women’s basketball team, and Dawn Manske of Made for Freedom for advice on their experience in the entrepreneurial industry.
The innovative T-REX coworking space and technology incubator welcomed students to experience a space where creativity thrives. During this visit students enjoyed learning about how the creative process worked. Of course, the perks of this site was the game room where students bonded over a slightly competitive game of pool.
While on campus, students participated in a Kickstarter challenge, presented elevator pitches, and competed in a final challenge of pitching to a panel of professionals. Students Brandon Smith, Katie Mootz and Matt Bruton took home the grand prize with their pitch called “Mission Control”, a gaming recreation complex mixing parties with massively multiplayer gaming.