On August 11, twenty-one high school students from Newark and Jersey City pitched business ideas that they had developed during the Morrison Technologies (Jersey City) Summer Technology & Entrepreneurship Program (STEP).
The youth program ran from July 3 to August 11, and was held in two locations: at the Bethune Center, in Jersey City, and NAN Newark Tech World, in Newark. The students worked together to seek solutions to real-world problems and learned about how to integrate technology and entrepreneurship.
The first-place winner was Mya-Gracie Francois, who proposed a mobile application called “KOSA.” The mobile platform would allow local beauty professionals that specialize in African-American hair to display their hair and beauty portfolios to enable users of the app to request their services directly. African-American hair requires styles and techniques that are difficult to find. This app would allow women to browse those professionals easily and, along with online recommendations, to make informed decisions regarding their hair-care professionals.
Our second-place winner was Samuel Sylvester, with the “Injectable Comb.” This mock-up of a modified “squeezable comb” for dry scalps was designed to eliminate the problem of dry scalp and extremely dry or unconditioned hair. This was a real-world problem that Sylvester set out to solve by designing the schematics of the comb and documenting its functions.
Third place was won by a pair of brothers, Jaidyn and Jaryd Mallette, with their “GameBox.” This proposed mobile platform was designed to track the usage and rankings of video game players. It would track leader boards, completion of games, and current status/progress of a game in play.
Honorable mention was awarded to Dylan Okine for “Got Shoes Bro?” This proposed mobile service platform was designed to help users of high-end sneakers ($200+) send their used, worn or damaged sneakers via mail for cleaning or repair services. A location would handle the repairs, cleaning or refurbishing of the sneakers and have them returned via mail to the customer.
Four Jersey City students — Frankie Ferrando, Rakeelah Gardner, Bhusean Lillia and Alexander Rodriguez — presented a group project called “Solvivor,” a solar-power survival kit smart phone case.
The presentations were judged by Michelle Joan Rances (Rutgers University, Newark), Renzo Arevalo (Infinity Institute, Jersey City) and Alexander Morrison (Morrison Technologies).
Morrison Technologies would like to thank the STEP 2017 instructors, Hector Torres (Jersey City) and Yager Rondon (Newark); Alvin Pettit, director of the Bethune Center; Lord Quincy Dowdell, director of NAN Newark Tech World; and judges Renzo Arevalo, Michelle Joan Rances and Alexander Morrison. And a very special thanks to all who helped us put the program together, including the City of Jersey City, Jersey City Board of Education, and City of Newark.
The STEP program focuses on helping students to become entrepreneurs, engaging them in creative thinking, exploring and discovering technology, and giving them the opportunity to interact with successful entrepreneurs and to experience the power of networking and building relations.
We are honored to conclude this Summer Youth Program in Jersey City and Newark, and Morrison Technologies will continue to provide technology education in the coming years.