Discovery’s Up To The Challenge

Learners asking Tom Sayer, Co-Founder and CEO of Ello, questions about starting a business.

This session, the learners in Discovery Studio are embarking on a quest to build their own businesses. They aren’t, however, just crafting their businesses. They are also working together to pitch their businesses to a group of entrepreneurs. And the stakes are high – there’s a $350 cash investment waiting for the company who comes up with the most convincing pitch. 

In “Pitch This,” our Writer’s Workshop, the big goal is to write a persuasive pitch at the end of this session. Leading up to that, we’re writing pitches and practicing public speaking skills in weekly “Studio Shark Tanks.” Learners will take on the role of investors and decide how much money they would be interested in investing after hearing a pitch.

Discovery learners are practicing risk-taking and seeking out challenges, since those are traits of successful entrepreneurs. They don’t just want to be a group who can overcome challenges – they want to be a group who seeks them out because they know they can succeed (or that failure is okay!).

Since our session alludes to the show Shark Tank, we’ve thrown some reality show twists at the learners already! Many learners had already brainstormed business ideas and started to make plans with friends coming into this session. That’s great – it’s exciting to have that entrepreneurial spirit in the studio. However, this session isn’t just about building a business. It’s about overcoming challenges.

On the first day of Quest, it was announced that they would be starting their businesses in random groups of 3 people. Unsurprisingly, the learners were not excited about this first challenge. But, immediately after their groups were announced, the studio sprang to life with brainstorming and planning. Some thought it would be impossible to work together, yet every group has already come up with a company name, business ideas, and a mission statement!

We’ve extended our surprise challenges into Writer’s Workshop as well. Most learners would be comfortable writing a pitch for their business because it’s their idea! But how well can they sell people on any business?

For the first two weeks, learners will be writing and giving pitches for completely random, ridiculous businesses. Already, I’ve heard a pitch for Swoop, a pet psychiatry service for angsty teenagers. In our weekly Studio Shark Tank, learners will have to figure out how to convince their peers that the business is worth investing in, no matter how silly or serious it might be!

Our entrepreneurship venture this session is real. They’ll be leaving the bubble of their studio to bring ideas out into the real world, to real entrepreneurs. They’ll prove to a group of potential investors that, no matter their age, Discovery Studio is ready to change the world now!

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