Social Entrepreneurship Program
Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA | Co-designed with and launched by Castilleja's ACE Center (for Awareness, Compassion & Engagement)
Passion into Action: Social Entrepreneurship Program
Young female leaders at Castilleja School in Palo Alto set out to spot entrepreneurial opportunities to bring their passions and abilities to bear in solving a meaningful problem in their community or the world. Culminating with a pitch to Silicon Valley VCs, students experienced the full arc from building empathy with their target audience to building (and re-building) their ideas through this tailored learning experience.
WEEKLONG DESIGN THINKING IMMERSION
The entire sophomore class tackled a design challenge to reimagine the 21st century library to learn foundational skills in ethnographic interviewing, brainstorming solutions, and building prototypes to get early user feedback.
DISCOVERING YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL SWEET SPOT
Students applied their ethnographic interviewing skills to uncover an authentic need in the world that intersected a team passion and a set of abilities they possessed to deliver on the need.
REFINING CONCEPTS & BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
Students spent three months doing design research, interviewing their user group, hosting sessions to get feedback on prototypes, and fleshing out a rough business plan. Teams advanced based on rigor of concept and commitment to the idea.
PITCHING TO VC PANEL FOR FUNDING
The finalists gave a 7-minute pitch to a panel of Silicon Valley VCs and seasoned entrepreneurs, including a live demo of their concept, its value proposition, analysis of the competitive landscape and proposed revenue model.
Semi-Finalists: STEMist Doll
Discouraged by the lack of female presence in fields from engineering to chemistry, this team came up with the idea of STEMist Doll and app who help young girls learn basic coding syntax while building conversational relationship with her doll.
The team is following in the footsteps of GoldieBlox whose mission is to disrupt the "pink aisle" and give girls an alternative to images of women portrayed by Barbie and others.
They began by building the app to learn how best to couple the goal of giving girls confidence in basic coding syntax (such as IF THEN ELSE) with the motivation to teach her doll conversational abilities such as IF I say "hello," THEN say "how are you?"