Rising Youthful CEOs Current Enterprise Concepts »Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Taylor Chavez, 15, was the only teenager at a workshop in June that helped entrepreneurs build their dream startup businesses, and she quickly decided that had to change.

So she raised money, organized and created her own teen event.

Chavez, who uses expressions like “auto differentials”, “Google Hangout” and “STEM education tool” as part of their daily vocabulary, was endorsed by at least 20 teenage app developers, social media fans and marketing designers from different Albuquerque countries Schools and Middle Schools at Startup Weekend Teen.

The event was a three-day weekend workshop in which children aged 13 and over presented, developed and presented their ideas for viable business models in the Wesst Enterprise Center in the city center.

Judge Jessica Eaves Matthews questions one of the teams after a presentation at the Wesst Enterprise Center on Sunday afternoon. The jury consisted of representatives from PNM and @Pay. (Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal)

“Teens have fantastic ideas that are currently under construction and they have no way of bringing them out,” said Chavez, a freshman at Bosque School. “This is a great way to do this.”

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Traditionally geared towards adults, Startup Weekend is a global organization that helps entrepreneurs realize their dream startup businesses. The organization has hosted more than 1,000 events in Colombia, Denmark and China, but this weekend’s Albuquerque event was the first in the world organized by teenagers for teenagers. And the reception was overwhelmingly positive.

“I’ve been judging several startup weekends, I’ve seen a lot of teams, and what we saw today could easily have held up at some of the big events,” said Judge Scott Maloney, vice president of strategy at @Pay. at the final presentations on Sunday. “This is not just a teenage event, even though you are a teenager, and it’s an amazing thing. What you put together went beyond what was going on today. “

Groups of teenagers used a television screen to present carefully crafted marketing pitches to a jury of five judges who selected their two favorites: Spark, a social media platform that allows users to discuss, organize, and host events; and Pronto, a crowd-sourced skate boarder apparel company that calls itself a “movement”.

Two other business ideas presented were iSpotyou, an app that can help people find each other in a large, noisy crowd or track down a lost child, and SlipStream Gaming, which transfers traditional game console controls to a mobile device.

SlipStream Gaming developers, 13-year-old Jason Knoll and Thomas Abeyta, have been friends since first grade, and Abeyta said Knoll originally wanted to create a hockey game app.

“I said I have an idea. You’re not going to play a hockey game, you’re going to help me revolutionize an industry, ”Abeyta said. “I noticed in my Tetris app that there was so much space wasted that you can put buttons there, and after a while, this idea came up.”

Although the duo, who both played video games five days a week, didn’t win first place, they march forward without hesitation.

“We never had a business relationship until this year,” said Abeyta. “I think we’re better friends than we were before.”

Demi Wetzel, who flies across the country to facilitate startup weekends, said the organization didn’t know what to expect from youth organizers. But she said her expectations were exceeded.

“The presentations tonight were pretty phenomenal,” she said. “This is a great example, and now that we’ve seen how it can be done, why not encourage in more cities.”

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