‘These Teens Mean Business’ with startups for social good

Erik Lorenzsonn, The Capital Times

CEOsofTomorrow_CapTimes_webThe premise of Art and Chill, a business launched by teenagers at the coworking space 100state on Wednesday night, is right there in the name: Customers take a seat in a calm, blue-lit room, listen to some music and make art.

Ivy Sordahl, a 17-year-old East High School student, said she and other students with the youth entrepreneurship group CEOs of Tomorrow came up with the service as a way for people to relieve stress. Even the art project they have customers work on — decorating ceramic tile coasters with marker — was designed with self-care in mind.

“You write down places, words, things, anything that stresses you out,” said Sordahl. “Then we use rubbing alcohol, and it basically washes away your stress.”

Art and Chill was one of three ventures that children and teenagers pitched at 100state as part of a CEOs of Tomorrow program called These Teens Mean Business. The after-school startup incubator is designed to teach youth social entrepreneurship skills. In other words, the businesses in the spotlight Wednesday weren’t just money-making propositions: Students started each one with a social mission in mind.

Jose Cadena, 16, was on the team that came up with the Hope Box, an enterprise where people can buy care packages of cleaning supplies like sponges and detergent for homeless people in shelters. Read more …

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