created at: 2012-11-26Four teams.

Four hours.

Four business leaders.

One amazing morning.

On Sunday, December 2nd, a group of Prozdor students gathered in the Hebrew College Conference Center to participate in Prozdor’s first ever “Start-Up Day”. They met Ben Vainer (Good Question Ink), Ross Lohr (Project Repat), Mat Paisner* (AltruHelp), and Jackie Schon* (The Paint Bar), all entrepreneurs in their twenties who had volunteered to spend their morning coaching and mentoring teams of teenagers in creating a pitch for their own socially-responsible business. It was a fantastic event, and four wonderful ideas came out of the exercise.

Here are the mission statements that the teens themselves created to describe their ventures:

“The Pink Seat Project” will place pink seats in stadiums across the country to raise awareness and support; the money raised from the Pink Seat will go directly to Breast Cancer research, mammograms, and patients. (Rebecca Krieger and Adam Lassman)

”Drive Away AIDS” combats the spread of AIDS through monetary support of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. We will sell customized, useful, and fun products to you and through you to support the fight against AIDS. (Ben Gladstone, Eden Marcus, and Daniel Nissenbaum)

“Israeli Understanding Project” is both a store and movement. The store sells unique and modern Israeli products, while the movement advocates for a greater level of understanding of issues facing Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East. IUP not only creates a welcoming format for people to discuss the issues and also participate in events that raise money for Israel advocacy, but it also creates an understanding of modern day Israel. (Nathan Foster, Sasha Macdonald, and Ethan Plotkin)

“Helping Others Manage Inner City Events” gets teens active in their communities and pulls them away from bad influences by planning and implementing their own large-scale sporting and arts events. (Levi Goldfarb, Sam Sharon, and Olivia Shapiro)

Each team encountered some difficulties, like disagreements over mission and vision, challenges with their business model, even finding ways to make their PowerPoint clear and concise. But in the end each team member proudly presented their plan with poise, confidence, and a smile.

It was a day to remember at Prozdor—and definitely not the last of its kind.

*Paisner and Schon are Prozdor alumni, class of 2002!

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