On a quiet and soggy Saturday morning, Kid Rocket Studios along with fellow Kansas City startup Little Hoots had the fantastic opportunity to take part in Explore Post 816's very first Youth Entrepreneurship Outreach Workshop (#YEOW). Held in the heart of KC's Startup Village, this new program being run by the post had a unique focus of exposing young Cub Scouts to the basic principles of startups, business and entrepreneurialism.
After some quick presentations from Lacey Eliis (Little Hoots founder and CEO) and ourselves, the participants were divided into smaller collaboration teams and presented with a problem to solve. With the assistance of the older members of the Explorer Post, three business/product-based solutions were developed and pitched back to the entire group for discussion and follow-up questions.
What was truly impressive was the immediate creativity and collaborative spirit on display. Over the course of an hour, concepts were developed, logos were created, marketing hooks were explored, pricing models were discussed and some pretty touch questions were posed, such as...
"What sort of insurance will you have for your extreme playground?"
"What happens if your automatic homework completing pen gets an answer wrong?"
"Do you think the S.L.A.P. Transporter's price is too low for what it does?"
And those questions were coming from the kids! Meanwhile, the pitch teams took each one easily in stride.
(I mean, we've been busy with our own Kickstarter efforts lately but these kids were pretty much ready to glad-hand with VCs and angel investors!)
Cheers to Explorer Post 816 leader Matt Thomas, his excellent crew of Explorers that facilitated and guided the groups, the scouts and leaders in attendance, and Adam Arrendondo and Abby Tillman of CEED for helping guide the event. Special props to the developers from EyeVerify next door who came over and demo'ed their product to the attendees despite being on a hot update release schedule on a Saturday morning. Nothing like getting a jolt of creative energy from a group of engaged and smart kids first thing in the morning.
Yes, kids may say the darndest things. However, if you listen really close, you may learn a thing or two.