Blog Post

iMentor Bay Area Seniors Shine in Entrepreneurship Competitions

Demonstrating the spirit of entrepreneurship that has come to define Silicon Valley, iMentor seniors at James Lick High School in San Jose, Calif. participated in Pitchapalooza, a tournament-style business pitch competition this spring.

One top James Lick team pitched FemNoMess, a monthly feminine care package. FemNoMess entrepreneurs Lilliana and Janelle ultimately advanced to regional competitions and placed in the top 16 out of 2,000 teams from the Bay Area.

At James Lick’s competition, 50 teams each presented a seven-minute pitch before judging panels that included local volunteers from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and mentors from iMentor who work at Apple, Addepar, Power Integrations, BTS, FedEx, Applied Materials, PillDrill, and other corporations in the area.

The competition was the culmination of a seven-week entrepreneurship project in James Lick’s 12th grade economics classes. Students worked independently or with a partner to identify challenges in their community, devise solutions, and create business plans

Seniors’ ideas included business models from restaurants to apps, but three concepts most impressed the judges. In addition to Lilliana and Janelle’s project, students Jasmine and Angel presented K911, a GPS-based app for reporting and adopting stray, abused, and neglected animals, and Alana and Alberto pitched their vision for Persistence, a women-only gym that provides women a safe place to work out and a long-term support network. In addition to earning gift cards provided by iMentor, these top three teams went on to represent James Lick High School at an interschool competition hosted by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and attended by San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo.