The Irvine Valley College (IVC) entrepreneurship program, which is part of the School of Business Sciences, hosted its annual Summer Entrepreneurship Workshop for high school and community college students from June 24 to 28. Forty-two students from surrounding high schools participated in the week-long event.
Students participated in a hands-on learning experience that included presentations and interaction with industry guest speakers, IVC faculty, and teen entrepreneur Maryam Edah-Tally. Students developed skills in communication and collaboration, the entrepreneurial mindset, ways to protect intellectual property, bootstrap marketing and financing, goal setting, conducting market research, and networking.
Participants discovered that everyday problems can be used to create opportunities. They identified problems and developed ideas into products or services to solve these problems. Industry experts taught them about presentation skills and how to give a business pitch. On the last day, groups of four students gave three-minute pitches on their ideas, including how they would solve a problem, who their customers would be, and how they would market to them.
Industry expert judges selected Dusteroo as the winning project in the pitch competition. The project uses electromagnetic technology to clean solar panels to increase their efficiency. Students also enjoyed a field trip to the Urban Workshop entrepreneur makerspace in Costa Mesa, where they toured the facility and listened to three start-ups from the UCI Wayfinder incubator give their business pitch.
IVC professors John Russo and Breanna Hale coordinated the workshop, which was hosted by the Business and Entrepreneurship sector of the Doing What Matters Strong Workforce initiative for jobs and the economy through the California Community Colleges.
IVC offers a 13-class entrepreneurship program with the opportunity to earn certificates of proficiency. These classes are offered in both the spring and fall semesters. Most are 8-week hybrid courses focused on specific entrepreneurial skills, as well as how to start a business.