FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2017 — Four Redwood High School teens win international entrepreneurship competition.
Four teens representing Marin’s Elix Incubator won first place at the University of Delaware’s Diamond Challenge this past weekend. Elix is a teen-run social-impact incubator for high school entrepreneurs founded by Isabella Liu in 2015. The team of four was comprised of Isabella Liu, Haley Catton, Andrew Yates, and Stash Pomichter, all of whom are Redwood High School juniors.
The Diamond Challenge provides an opportunity for high school students across the world to give a 5-minute pitch on their entrepreneurial ideas and receive a cash prize. Over 700 teams competed from over 30 different countries in the preliminary round, and Elix was selected in Danville, CA as one of 14 teams to advance to the semifinal and final rounds in Newark, DE. The final event, hosted by the University of Delaware’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, gave the opportunity for competitors to not only receive funding, but to network with relevant business professionals and other young entrepreneurs. At the event, 14 semi-finalist teams were selected from all around the world, including Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Thailand, Kenya, and Jamaica.
In Delaware, Marin’s Elix Incubator team prevailed in three competitive rounds, as other semi-finalists were voted out. Ultimately, Elix won first place in the championship round, receiving the first unanimous vote in the history of the competition, and garnering prizes totalling over $11,000. With the cash funding won by the company, Elix has raised roughly $23,000 in capital in less than 50 days. This money will be put into the Elix Innovation Fund, which acts both as a source of seed money and safety net for the social ventures Elix Incubator helps create.
Asked about the win, CEO Liu said “I’m very proud of my team. The single best decision I’ve made for Elix so far has been putting this team together. Candidly, our practice to pitch ratio was pretty intense. We practiced about 30 hours for our five minute pitch!”
Going forward, Elix Incubator will continue providing access to a true entrepreneurial experience to teens. Although entrepreneurship is only taught in 15% of high schools in the Bay Area, Elix believes many more teens have the potential to create impactful companies, and are often left without the means to take action. Elix takes teens who have great social enterprise ideas and connects them with the mentors, education, investors, and seed money needed to create companies with an impactful social mission. The company is currently incubating six different social ventures in the Bay Area, with plans to expand to the East Coast and beyond this summer. Social ventures include Eco Wash Network, a waterless car wash that has thus far saved 11,000 gallons of water, and a tech-pairing vendor, NoviAris, which has paired 50 plus iPads with schools in underserved communities.
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