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In partnership with health and wellness non-profit, GENYOUth, SAP hosted its second Social Innovation Series in the South San Francisco Success Factors office last Thursday. Some of the most promising teen entrepreneurs of the Bay Area came together for the day’s event. Each student put their design thinking brains to action during a five hour workshop. The workshop guided the students through the design thinking process to aid them in unveiling ideas that tackled problems related to health and wellness within their schools.

Throughout the day, each student refined their ideas with guidance from SAP employee mentors before pitching to a panel of judges. The panel included SAP executives and start-up CEO’s and founders. The panel were all extremely impressed with the caliber of pitches and the confidence of the students. They were able to award total of $12,000 of available grant money to the most promising ideas. The top two students of each of the five events then have the opportunity to post a video of their pitch on GENYOUth’s platform, AdVenture Capital (AdCap). The public are then able to vote for their favorite idea, and the winning student will be awarded an additional $10,000, as well as tickets to the 2016 Super Bowl.

The winner of the day was a concept called ‘Trash Bash’, in which the student pitched the gamification of throwing away trash. The students have an incentive to separate and recycle, through an element competition and awards. This concept motivates the student body to throw away trash responsibly. It also ingrains a consciousness of separating and recycling at a young age.

“Today’s event was absolutely amazing. It was interesting to see that many of the problems that I experienced within my own school years ago, were the same problems that some students were experiencing today. The difference is that these kids are much smarter and inventive in the way that they are trying to solve them. Not separating trash was a problem that my school had. I loved Trash Bash, it’s a concept that any school can implement immediately. I can even see the hashtag tomorrow” – Ivan Matkovik, CEO and founder of Spendgo.

Another one of the contestants who received grant money, pitched the idea of an intelligent news application. Based off of the reader’s news viewing history, the application would suggest different alternative articles with the aim of providing the reader a more multifaceted learning of the subject. By offering a multitude of perspectives, it encourages readers to be more flexible and open-minded to alternative views, concepts and ideas. This is extremely relevant in today’s ever-changing environment.

The students were tremendously positive about the day’s event. Many of them agreed it provided a practical and exciting entrepreneurial experience. Students emphasized how valuable the day was as aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as being something tangible that they can talk about on college applications and interviews.

These students are the change-makers of tomorrow. SAP employees, keep track of the finalists so you can vote for your favorite teen innovator. Your vote can help these students make a lasting impact!

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