This summer, Morrison Technologies Community Services, a subsidiary of Morrison Technologies (Bayonne), hosted 20 high school students from Newark and Jersey City for six weeks. Classes were held in two locations: the Bethune Center in Jersey City and the NAN Newark Tech World in Newark, from July 1 to August.
The Summer Technology & Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) is a weekday summer program that explores the connections between technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation with students. Students work together to seek solutions to real-world problems and learn about how to integrate technology with entrepreneurship. They learn to create, market and pitch their business. At the closing ceremony, students pitched their ideas in a pitch competition.
Third place winner was Geonasia Walker who presented her company, PHATT (Pretty Hair All The Time). A business focused on African American women with round faces and different hair textures who are unable to find diverse hairstyles for them. PHATT will create YouTube videos and sell hair products such as extensions and accessories to help teens with round faces have Pretty Hair All The Time (PHATT).
Second place winner Vivek Gadgil presented his idea, Packats, a mobile app focused on offering local delivery service from small stores to residents within the community.
First place winner Nia Ridgird showcased Left Hand Right Plan. A business created to provide the crochet community with tutorials for left- handed and people of color on YouTube. Apart from the tutorials, starter packages including hooks, yarn and patterns will be sold to beginners and experienced levels.
The presentations were judged by Gerald Lyons (Jersey City Board Education), Alexander Morrison (Morrison Technologies) and Joshua Weiss (TeliApp).
Program instructors were Mark Annett (Newark) and Helena Van Der Merwe (Jersey City).
Annett is a patent agent who started Annett Enterprises, an engineering firm, to assist entrepreneurs through all phases of the product development from design to patent submissions to release into the market and beyond.
Van der Merwe created A-Plus Consulting, LLC to provide training for special needs students to allow them to participate in the technology labor market.
The program also featured guest entrepreneurs: Anthony Frasier, ABF Creative & Newark Venture Capital; Kevin Chu, Greater Newark Enterprises Corp.; Joshua Weiss, Teliapp; Joel Levin, mar*ket-ing, inc.; Ali & Emon Mahvan, Sharebert.com; Gary Minkoff, Department of Management & Global Business Rutgers Business School; Michele Valdespee, Bend No More; and Ras Heru, Rebel Ink Publishing.