Monday, December 16, 2013

Social Entrepreneurship attends a Lean Impact Summit

RealSchool has been busy with so many different projects that we haven't had time to update our blog recently, but we're catching up, and in chronological order, we want to share what we've been up to.

Our Social Entrepreneurship team at the Lean Impact summit!

First, on December 5, the Social Entrepreneurship team attended the Lean Impact summit in NYC. Frisch English teacher Rabbi Daniel Rosen chaperoned, and we enjoyed his droll observations about the day:

In summary, first we went to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Bleeker. That was nice. Then, the first part was about funding.

The Social Entrepreneurship team enjoyed meeting the conference organizer Leeanne Pittsford, who gave them some tips about how to refine a project we're working on and will be pitching soon ;). The first thing Ronit Langer ('15) texted us from the conference was that in order to do something, "you've got to get out of the building." We couldn't agree more. 

Ronit also shared the following ideas she learned at the conference about social entrepreneurship:

Know your audience: be specific
Know your product: a service or solution to a problem
Is there demand?
Get rid of assumptions about everyone
Get young people
Find the root of the problem

Find stories and use data
Deal with poverty: half the world that's not poor should want to get other half not poor
Find new ways to solve old problems
Build-measure-learn cycle, proposal-grant-execute-follow-up: takes a long time
Program can be started in as little as 9 weeks
Entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to the judges
and participants at the summit.
Judges critiqued pitches and gave tips on refining
presentations and business ideas.
A lot of the ideas the conference espoused are ones we value in RealSchool: rough demo-ing; failing fast to fail forward; learning by doing; believing in youth.
The RealSchool members also discovered the power and fun of networking, enjoying meeting young entrepreneurs, including Megan O'Connor from Pencils of Promise, an organization that two juniors at Frisch have brought to the school.
The students also kept hearing about Eric Reis' book The Lean Startup, which we immediately ordered and are now passing around in RealSchool.

All in all, the Social Entrepreneurship team got out of the building and got a lot out of the day!