6:30 a.m. came bright and early when I took the F train from Brooklyn into Manhattan last Saturday. But having joined All Star Code a mere month ago, this was my first chance to see the team in action at our Design a Startup in a Day workshop at General Assembly, and I couldn’t have been more excited.
More than 20 high schoolers joined us to learn about designing a startup. After a round of icebreakers to wake everyone up, we cemented the teams and the mission was revealed: Design a startup – creating a brand, a marketing strategy, a wire frame, and a landing page for your company’s website – and present it in less than 7 hours. No small feat for the teams of five high schoolers each!
The All Stars were lucky to have a talented group of tech mentors present, as well as three All Star alums – Djassi, Devon, and Nikolas – to guide them through the process. Max Weinbrown taught the All Stars the basics of coding to help with their landing pages, and Shiloh Goodin gave them tips about how to wow VCs with their presentation skills. Walking around the room on social media duty, I heard so many creative ideas as the All Stars worked together to solidify their startups. As the day went on, the energy of the teams grew and the excitement in the room was palpable.
5 p.m. came quickly, as parents joined ASC staff, volunteers, and mentors to watch the presentations. With the sounds of Millions March NYC rising up from Broadway, each team presented their startups, ranging from a music sharing app to a solution for finding colleges and internships that match your specific skills. While everyone had amazing ideas, there had to be a winning team in the end. The judges, including All Star Djassi Julien, deliberated and named Safe Space, an app and website to support victims of sexual violence, as the winners of the competition!
I left my first All Star Code workshop feeling even more excited about becoming a part of this organization. I saw our mission come to life in the creativity and passion of these bright young men, who will be the next generation of computer science students, programmers, and tech entrepreneurs.
The day was also bittersweet for the ASC team as it was the last workshop with our Program Manager extraordinaire David Noel. But what a way to go out! The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, thanks in large part to David.
Check out what the day looked like from my perspective in the Design a Startup in a Day Storify, and join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!