2022-2023 Year in Review » Veale Entrepreneurs

2022-2023 YEAR IN REVIEW

VYEF programs are free to educators and high school students, empowering them with new entrepreneurial business skills.

Fall Educator Workshop

September 2022
Flux Makerspace at Cleveland Rocks hosted the Fall Educator Workshop on September 22. The workshop was designed for educators seeking academic information on entrepreneurial and technological opportunities for students. The educators had an opportunity to network over dinner and were given a tour of Flux Makerspace along with climbing areas at Cleveland Rocks by Kevin and Clare Wojton.


October-November 2022

Sears think[box] one-day workshops are provided in partnership with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Sears think[box] is housed within CWRU’s 50,000 square-foot Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Schools are invited annually to tour the center and participate in workshops that train students in engineering skills and design thinking. This year 65 students had the opportunity to create physical products, experience the design process, learn 3D printing, and laser cutting.


October 2022
John Carroll University hosted Thinkfest on October 6 & 7 with 198 students attending from 16 Northeast Ohio schools. This event is facilitated by Dr. Jeffrey Stamp, the creator of Baked! Lays Potato Chips, the Olive Garden breadstick, as well as other well-known brands. Dr. Stamp is also the chief storyteller at Bold Thinking, LLC. Thinkfest workshops are designed to inspire high school students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset allowing them to recognize, develop, and pitch business ideas through interactive ideation.

Dare to Dream

November 2022
The fifth annual Dare to Dream event was held on November 7 at John Carroll University. This retreat leverages entrepreneurship to instill confidence, empower vulnerability, and enable students to take one step toward making their dream a reality. This year’s events featured interactive programs and modules that helped build essential entrepreneurial skills to 46 students from 8 schools.

Dare to Dream was presented in partnership with John Carroll University’s Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship.

Stock Market Challenge

December 2022
On December 2, Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland hosted the Stock Market Challenge at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The high energy event is designed to simulate the excitement of a real-life trading floor where students build solid financial foundations and gain knowledge they can use in the future.

The event hosted 250 students who worked in teams of four or five to buy and sell shares in fictional companies. The teams had $1,000,000 of “mock stock” to use throughout a 60-day trading period with new days starting every 60 seconds.

Before the challenge, students learned investing, saving, and team-building skills by completing Junior Achievement’s five in-class lessons.

thinkBIG! Challenge

January - March 2023
This year’s thinkBIG! Challenge included entries from 130 students on 52 teams from 10 schools across Northeast Ohio. Out of the 52 teams that submitted executive summaries to the competition, 21 semifinalist teams moved on to round 2 with executive coaching sessions to refine their pitches and business plans. Semifinalists submitted presentations competing for a chance to advance to the final round at the thinkBIG! Summit held on March 7, 2023.

Design Challenge Hackathon

February 2023
Baldwin Wallace hosted 62 students at the Design Challenge Hackathon held on February 3 in partnership with GiveBackHack. The Design Challenge Hack allowed students to learn a series of skills which encouraged them to develop sustainable resolutions to pressing social issues. Students worked in teams to create solutions addressing health, education, the environment, poverty, and social inequity. They refined their ideas through user validation, developing business model canvases and prototyping. The day concluded with all teams participating in a final pitch competition.

VYEF Skill Building Workshop Day

February 2023
The first VYEF Skill Building Workshop Day was held on February 8 at Cleveland State University. The event provided networking opportunities and lessons in design, leadership, business modeling, and business pitching to 65 students from 4 schools. Skill-building sessions were conducted by:

designExplorr: Jacinda Walker – Founder & Creative Director

Effective Leadership Academy: Flo Brett (Founder) Jessica Vaughn (Talent Manager), Tyelisha Johnson (Reentry Coordinator & Lead Facilitator)

JumpStart, Inc.: Lauren Smith-Petta – Director of Educational Services

Weston Ideation Lab at Cleveland State University: Lynn Buchinsky – Entrepreneur, Manager, & Business Advisor

thinkBIG! Summit

March 2023
The thinkBIG! Summit was held on March 7, at the Tinkham Veale University Center at Case Western Reserve University. The event is the culmination of the thinkBIG! Challenge, where 4 finalist teams compete in two tracks (Innovation & Small Business) for a total of $8,000 in prizes. The event kicked off with our inspirational keynote speaker, Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine, startup advisor, and host of the podcasts Build For Tomorrow and Problem Solvers. The event hosted 248 students, educators, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders from 21 organizations.

Attendees participated in a mini-maker hackathon led by Upcycle Parts Shop! Each table of students worked in teams to craft physical representations of innovative ideas made from recycled materials and create a 60-second pitch to describe their ideas. Four finalist teams were chosen to present their ideas to audience members and a panel of judges for a chance to win prizes.

After the hackathon, our Young Entrepreneur Panel was led by emcee Jeffrey Stern, Axuall co-founder, product manager, and host of Cleveland’s Lay of The Land podcast.

Local entrepreneurs on the panel included:

Camile Genise – founder & CEO of FELOH

Jennah Lear – owner, brand strategist and Designer of Blue Loui Studio

Leopoldo Peña – co-founder and CEO of Presta

Jackie Walsh – founder and owner of Hope Yoga.

The event concluded with the final four thinkBIG! Challenge teams pitching their ideas to three judges – Jason Feifer, Camile Genise, and Lauren Smith-Petta, the director of educational services from JumpStart, Inc.

Innovation Track

Winner: Mendz: Olmsted Falls High School

Finalist: Matrix Monitoring: Olmsted Falls High School

Small Business Track

Winner: stEMPOWERher: Hathaway Brown School

Finalist: Magic Soap: Laurel School