Running Start Youth Entrepreneurial Workshop Program Opens Registration

ANN ARBOR – Registration is now open for the Running Start youth entrepreneurial workshop program, an engaging, mentor-led, workshop-based approach to equip youth with entrepreneurial skills to start a business.

“We’ve had an enthusiastic response from parents and the local community about this new workshop series,” noted Founder & President of Running Start, Debra Power. “Due to demand, we have opened registration now for youth participants in the program.”

Over a series of four workshops, middle and high-school aged youth will come up with a business idea, test it, market it, and finally pitch it.

How Does Running Start Work?

Students in Running Start workshops begin with an idea. Then, with the assistance of the experienced mentors leading the workshop, students test the idea. Next, they are guided in branding and marketing their product. Finally, they are assisted in developing the best strategies to pitch their product to potential partners and funders.

The list of mentors to date can be found here: https://www.running-start.biz/mentor-team/.

Workshops will be held in 2018 on the following Saturdays:

Running Start Winter 2018

February 24 – Workshop #1 – IDEATION

March 3 – Workshop #2 – TESTING

March 10 – Workshop #3 – MARKETING

March 17 – Workshop #4 – PITCHING

Running Start Spring 2018

April 21 – Workshop #1 – IDEATION

April 28 – Workshop #2 – TESTING

May 6 – Workshop #3 – MARKETING

May 13 – Workshop #4 – PITCHING

Middle school students meet 10am–noon, High School students meet 2pm-4pm. Cost for the course of four workshops is $199 per student. Scholarships are also available for the program.

Mentors for the program include the following: Joseph R. Morrison, Jr., Bodman; Jeffrey Rinvelt, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund; Yodit Mesfin Johnson, NEW: Solutions for Nonprofits; Jonathan Goldstein, Ann Arbor SPARK; Matthew W. Bower, Varnum Law; Shelly Sahi, Sahi Cosmetics; Diane Bouis, Inovo Group; Jason Mars, Clinc; Janelle Reichman, Continuum Design + Web; Rich Chang, NewFoundry; and Beth Simon, NewFoundry.

Debra Power is Founder and President of Running Start. She is also President of Power Marketing Research, a Michigan-based, 100% woman-owned corporation that conducts qualitative and quantitative research including focus groups, surveys, customer discovery, and public involvement. Power Marketing Research was awarded a 2015 and 2011 FastTrack Award from Ann Arbor SPARK. PMR is a certified DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise), SBE (Small Business Enterprise), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), and Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB).

Running Start sponsors include: GO Where Meetings Matter, Bidlack Creative Group, Ann Arbor SPARK, Hylant, Plante Moran, TCF Bank, Comcast, DFCU Financial, LLamasoft, Old National Bank, and Emagine Entertainment. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and can be designated towards providing scholarships to youth attendees.

More information can be found at www.running-start.biz.