The Votes Are In, And the Winners Are...
SORRY - you'll have to wait until December to find out! The winners will be revealed online in December and honored at the annual Growth Conference presented by The UPS Store on January 22, 2014 at the New Orleans Convention Center.
Be sure to check back for the winners and register to attend the FREE full-day conference that offers hard-hitting ideas on how to get your business booming.
SafeSIPP is a social venture addressing three problems facing rural communities in the developing world: transportation, purification, and storage of drinking water. SafeSIPP has integrated a three-phase water purification system into a barrel that activates as the barrel rolls across the ground. In addition, SafeSIPP has secured a strong advisory board and has been working closely with My Arms Wide Open, a NPO working in South Africa, to implement this patent-pending system on a large scale.
Through My Arms Wide Open and a visit to South Africa, SafeSIPP has gained an understanding of the culture. The local residents have demonstrated interest in the SafeSIPP system and are eager for the implementation in the community. SafeSIPP has secured manufacturing space and will begin manufacturing the systems for a large-scale pilot test in November with sales starting in January 2014.
When we first started this project, we were aware of the water crisis. We knew the numbers and the statistics, but it was not until we heard the unique stories of the individuals living in South Africa that we realized the true magnitude of suffering. However, we also realized that we have the ability to change this suffering.
Organizations such as NPO's and social enterprises that already provide services and have established connections with the developing world are the primary customers. These organizations have the distribution channels to efficiently and effectively deliver our product. NPOs and social enterprises need to provide access to safe water in the developing countries where they provide services to further advance their projects.
The residents of the rural communities require clean water for drinking, cooking, and agriculture. In addition, the individuals can sell additional purified water to stimulate the economy. SafeSIPP sells the systems to the NPOs and social enterprises, which deliver the systems to the end-user: the local residents in the developing world.
This revolutionary concept allows consumers to gain a greater control, save money, AND by default, be named our planet's hero.
Each year, we as a country, contribute a certain weight of containers / packaging to landfills. As reported by the Clean Air Council this weight is 152 billion pounds. Think about what kind of contribution we make in five years, let alone ten.
Through research, I present an opportunity that's not only critical to the planet's life but is extremely lucrative to investors as well.
It's called: The Hero Store.
A contemporary, zero-waste grocery store.
Our store eliminates packaging through using reusable containers with the dispenser method for goods such as pasta, soup-mixes, and oatmeal -- We also carry fresh produce and cold items such as milk, eggs... even ice cream!
We are NOT a one-size-fits-all society. A family of 5 has vastly different shopping needs than an individual. This allows consumers to buy the exact amount they need of any given product.
They also save money by paying for the product itself rather than the additional cost of packaging.
By reducing the use of packaging we empower consumers to be our planet's hero.
Hero taste. Zero waste. The Hero Store.
In today's society, there is no shortage of ways to connect online. Social media has allowed us to connect quicker and easier in a time when it seems everyone is so busy. However, it has become increasingly noticeable that face-to-face communication has suffered immensely. Calling or texting your friends when you have a bit of free time is regularly ineffective. We need a better method for identifying which friends want to hang out right now.
To solve this problem, I have created Ufree, a mobile application that answers our number one social problem: "Who is free to hang out right now?" Ufree enhances the way we communicate by displaying a list of our friends who are currently available, close by, and ready to hang out in real-time. This is made possible by allowing you to share your free time and live availability with your friends.
Ufree is completely free to the user, so revenue will be generated with different forms of advertising, such as sponsored events and coupons.
Ufree's initial target audience is the 31 million 18-24 year old college students throughout this country. The current problem of finding out which friends are free and close by is especially prevalent within the college atmosphere; Ufree aims to fix this.
The other half of the targeted audience are the local and national advertisers looking to market to the 18-24 year old college student demographic while they are free, with their friends, and looking for something to do. In other words, these local and national advertisers can influence the users when they are most prone to purchasing goods.
Once Ufree gains traction, we will be looking to expand into the corporate world.
Recesspreneurs will focus on teaching students entrepreneurship through hands-on experience. Students learn that entrepreneurship is a mentality and lifestyle, with lessons applicable to everyday life. Students build their own companies, acquire leadership positions, create presentations, and learn to integrate their passions and life experiences into their businesses. Through a developed and proven curriculum, students will be presented with regular challenges that stretch their intellect, character, and maturity. For example, one silent leader is challenged each day to lead their company without other students knowing.
Students will be encouraged to take initiative in decision-making processes, learn to work within team environments and subsequently foster strong support systems. Other organizations simply teach a student to identify a target market, sell, and effectively run a business. Therefore they limit impact to students who go on to win competitions or create a successful company and leave the majority unaffected. Recesspreneurs goes the extra step to hone in on the students mentality and instill in them the skills they need to succeed regardless of the efforts outcome.
After volunteering at an after-school homework program, I saw an opportunity to completely revamp and revise the curriculum to create what is now known as Recesspreneurs.
Children who live in low-income communities grow and mature with little hope, let alone confidence, to achieve their dreams and relieve themselves of the burdens of their socioeconomic status. These individuals are often led to believe there is minimal room for advancement to change their circumstances. They are told no consistently throughout their lives. These children are often left with no positive role models who can enlighten their minds to defying the social class cycle. This in turn creates generation after generation of impoverished citizens. These low-income environments create a certain state-of-mind and lifestyle that inevitably makes it even more difficult for an individual to rise above their situation. Youth therefore are left with little choice but to accept and internalize this state-of-mind.
These youth require empowerment, proper education, and sufficient access to resources so that they can break the cycle of class immobility. Entrepreneurship is a tool students can use to empower themselves by implementing ideas into actionable change to alter their situation. With proper understanding of the power of action, confidence-building exercises, and mentors for guidance, students at the lower socioeconomic ranks can take the steps necessary to change their conditions for the better.
It all started in 2011 when I visited my hometown (Monterrey, Mexico) between school semesters. I had been attending pastry school and taking cake decorating classes for four years in different cities: New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Austin. I posted pictures of my work online, and on this particular trip my friends, family and people I had never met asked me to teach them how to make cakes the way I did. There are several culinary institutes in Mexico, but none have teachers with the skills necessary for this particular type of cake decorating.
That's how the idea came to me to have an online school to teach people from all over the world the art of cake decorating (I am fluent in English, Spanish, French and learning Italian). I would have classes for different skill levels, short tutorials in different languages, and an online shop to buy supplies. I plan to invite celebrity chefs and instructors from major pastry schools (some from China, India, Germany and Russia) to teach online courses, which means I can add more languages and reach more students. If students cannot travel to school, I will bring school to them in an accessible, convenient and affordable manner.
According to a social media page, which I use to expose examples of my school work, I get the following statistics:- Gender and Age: 57.8% of my followers are women from 18-34 years old.
- Countries: My top five are USA, Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Brazil
- Cities: The top cities are Mexico City, Monterrey Mexico, San Antonio TX, and Austin TX
- Top Languages: Spanish, English, and Portuguese
Therefore my target market will be women between the ages of 18-34 years old, computer savvy, medium income level, housewives for the most part, mostly Latinas, and who enjoy cooking and baking for personal use of for a home based business. The plan is then to advertise and reach most of Latin America, Europe and Asia. The average cost per class or tutorial is $45.00 (compared to $900 in U.S. pastry schools in USA not including trip or housing). And most classes will be available in at least 5 languages to choose from: English, Spanish, French, Mandarin and Portuguese.