Young Entrepreneurs: Sage Nationals | MAKO Design + Invent

The 2014 Sage Nationals; Advancing Youth Entrepreneurs

MAKO Design + Invent, as a product design and development firm in Toronto, believes entrepreneurs are inventive as well as innovative. It’s because of this belief that whenever possible, we do our part to foster young entrepreneurs in our community.

On May 23, 2014, SAGE Canada (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) (@SAGECanada) held the judging of its 5th annual National Competition in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. The competition allowed each team, made up high school students, networking opportunities and a platform to showcase their achievements. Each team either entered the Socially Responsible Business category (SRB), the Socially Enterprise Business category (SEB) or in one case, both. ( Left: The SAGE team from John Polani H.S)

The SAGE teams presented their results to the panel of influential business leaders, including MAKO’s very own VP, James Chalmers (@JRCPRO), both through a presentation and written reports. The presentations were all very well planned out, and equally executed. Following the presentations, the Q&A period proved to be an interesting challenge for each team with the judges asking hard questions, meant to spark deeper thought as well as fill in any wholes they may have seen in each business plan.

The winning team in each category would have the opportunity to compete in the SAGE World competition in the summer of 2014, in Moscow Russia.

Are they actually young entrepreneurs?

In an interview preceding the awards ceremony with Enactus, James Chalmers was quoted as saying “I’m always humbled when invited to be a part of such important events. I remember back when I was in high school how inspiring it was when professionals came in to speak to our classes or took part in events such as this. These days it’s still I who gets inspired. These students routinely had Gayemarie Brown (National Innovation Leader at Deloitte) and I asking ourselves if these students were in fact, students. The level of professionalism and dedication to their chosen causes is nothing less than inspirational to us. Our future is definitely in good hands if being passed to such courageous leaders.”

The runner up in the SEB category was Northview Heights S.S (@NHSS_SAGE) with their idea on how to grow the amount of donations, both monetary and food wise, to the food bank in their school. Their idea was found close to home; they just looked around for a problem for which to create a solution, which made their whole experience really authentic.

The runner up in the SRB category was Med Way H.S, also known as Simple Solutions, with their idea to create a line of eco-friendly scarves from donated sweaters to allow for virtually no waste. An honorable mention goes out to Med Way because they managed to accomplish all that they did without a teacher advisor or support from their faculty. Their hard work and dedication to their idea and cause is to be admired.

The winner of the SEB category was John Polani C.I., also known as We Are the City, who interestingly chose three different causes to work toward. A very big undertaking but these student proved they were up to the challenge. Huge Congratulations to John Polani C.I.

The winner of the SEB category was Earl Haig S.S., also known as Punch Line (@ThePunchlineCo), with their pin backed button and phone case business. With an immensely successful business venture, a huge social media presence, and a track record that had our judges’ double-checking if they were in fact high school students, this team proved that they came to win.

Other awards awarded were the Best Start Up award and the Program Development Manager Award, awarded to Northview Heights SS, the Teacher Advisor of the Year award, awarded to Ms. Ing of Albert Campbell H.S (@sageacci on Instagram), and the Spirit Award, awarded to Med Way H.S.

A huge thanks going out to the other teams, Georges Vanier (Prodigy), and Agincourt (Breakfast friends) for their participation. Their presentations were filled with charisma and enthusiasm.

It’s clear all the teams put forward a huge amount of time, effort and energy in their effort to make a difference in their communities and after seeing the sheer caliber of ability these young entrepreneurs demonstrated, we look forward to the future of our industry.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!

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